This series was created to register a lease over Crown land, granted after 2 October 1862, into the Torrens system of land registration. Crown Leases were prepared and executed by the Department of Crown Lands and Survey and its successor and sent to the Office of the Registrar of Titles for registration into the Torrens system land Register for the issuing of a land title. Also, each transfer, sub-lease, mortgage or encumbrance of a lease was registered in the Office of the Registrar of Titles.
All land alienated by the Crown in Victoria after 1862 came under the operation of the Transfer of Land Act that is the Torrens System of Land registration.
The Registrar of Titles, under the provisions of Section 5 (1) of the Transfer of Land Act (1958), is responsible for registration and management of land titles in Victoria under the Torrens system. A land title is an official record about who owns or leases a piece of land in Victoria. Generally speaking there are two types of land titles under this act in Victoria - Freehold land title and Leasehold land title.
Crown land is public land that has either been 'reserved' for a specific purpose or is 'unreserved' land that is managed and held in trust by the Government for the benefit of the Victorian community.
There are two types of leaseholds (or leases for short) over Crown land in the land Register. One type is Crown leases which enables exclusive use of Crown land for a specific term and purpose (this series VPRS 17075). The second type is mining leases, which permits/enables the mining of Crown land, (see VPRS 17028 Register Book of Mining Titles).
A Crown lease is a written agreement between the Crown and the lessee that allows the use and occupation of the Crown land for a specific purpose. Leasing of Crown land is generally for a fixed period of time, with a set of conditions and a rental payment for the use and occupation of the land. Crown leases are granted land for a number of uses and purposes, the most common for grazing and purchase. Many of the early Crown Leases during the colonisation of Victoria related to Conditional Purchases leases. These leases enabled the lessee to apply for a freehold Crown Grant of the leased land, if and once the set of conditions and payments on the lease were met.
Leasehold is a lesser interest in land to freehold. Unlike freehold land, the person or legal entity who has a leasehold over crown land never 'owns' the land. If the requirements or conditions that are placed on a leasehold are not met by the lessee, the Crown may take the land back. In most cases the leasehold expires on a certain date.
The Crown grant, in the form of Crown lease, is registered by the Registrar of Titles. The Crown lease is given a volume and folio number by the Registrar. Registration of a Crown grant takes place when the Registrar notifies the Lands Department of the volume and the folio number of the land Register in which it is entered. The original Crown grant, that is the Crown lease, is filed in the Register Book (this series) and the duplicate is returned to the Lands Department.
The content of this series includes the original Crown Lease (with plan) which was prepared and executed by the Lands Department.
The practice of registering a lease over Crown land continues today with a low annual registration rate, compared to the high rate of registration in late 1800's and early 1900's.