In Australia, a Certificate of Title is a record of all relevant information concerning a land parcel. When purchasing a property, perhaps you already know what type of property you wish to purchase. However, you should still educate yourself on the different types of land titles, as well as the financial obligations you would be under after purchasing.
This title is the most traditional, since it means that you have purchased the property and the land that it’s built on. A Torrens title is registered in your name, and you take ownership. You are also responsible for the land’s upkeep. The title will state that you alone own the land, and will state any mortgages or other situations relating to your land. In the event that you have a mortgage, the bank holds the certificate until you repay the loan in full.
Strata ownership usually applies if you’re buying a townhouse, villa, or other single living unit. These titles also involve more costs. This is because the owner’s corporation—which is comprised of all the unit owners in the complex or building—collects a fee for maintaining the property’s common areas. This is in addition to the usual water and council rates. You should also know that strata titles also have complex rules and regulations concerning how and when you can modify your unit, ownership of pets, and garbage collection among other things.
This type of title typically applies to apartments and other units built prior to 1960, and more particularly apartments that were constructed during the 1920s and 30s. When you purchase a property with a company title, you don’t hold the individual title. Rather, you’re purchasing shares in the company that owns the building. Before purchasing, owners often must pass a pre-qualifying process established by the company. The upside to company titles is that they’re typically more affordable than strata properties. The downside is that they often bring more restrictions.
With a stratum title, the purchase property is divided into lots. When you purchase a unit, you before the owner of the lot. You will also hold shares in the company that owns the entire property. It is best to seek legal counsel if you wish to purchase land this way, as stratum titles can be a bit tricky to navigate.
This is when the purchaser temporarily buys the ownership of property or land owned by the government. In essence, you buy the right to hold the land for a temporary period. This typically applies to rural areas of Australia.
The last thing you would want to do is to buy a property or parcel of land, only to find out that there are restrictions that keep you from developing it the way you want to. It is best to check every detail of a land title before you purchase so that you know what you’re getting in to. Then if you’re unclear on anything, you can seek legal counsel. You can perforn a title search online via websites like Infotrack. It’s an inexpensive way to gain peace of mind about the land or property you wish to purchase.
You should note that a Certificate of title doesn’t include the land’s survey dimensions. If you’re looking for the land dimensions and legal boundaries of a parcel of land, refer to the parcel’s Strata Plan or Survey Plan.