Buying or selling a Shire waterfront property? Make sure you have a lease or a licence to use the jetty, pontoon, mooring pile or other foreshore maritime structure

If you are buying a waterfront property, you are presumably doing so not just for the view, but for the ability to access the water and use the structures adjoining the property such as a jetty, pontoon, boat ramp, boat shed, landing platform or mooring pile, known as ‘foreshore maritime structures’.

Many buyers of waterfront land are not aware that you do not own these foreshore maritime structures like you own the land above the mean high water mark in the Port Hacking and Georges River. A lease or licence must be granted by the Crown Lands to provide you with rights to use this area.

Before buying a waterfront property with an adjoining foreshore maritime structure your lawyer must:

  • Obtain a copy of a current lease or licence for the structure;
  • Check whether the lease or licence can be transferred to you or whether a new lease or licence must be obtained; and
  • Consider issues arising from the lease or licence of the maritime structures.  These issues are wide and varied and may include issues such as whether notices for repairs and maintenance have been served on the lessee or licensee, any special conditions containing restrictions on the use of the maritime structure or whether there is a shared occupancy agreement with the adjoining landowner.




This short blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Professional legal advice should be sought about your specific circumstances before commencing any course of action.