A Certificate of Title is an important record when it comes to buying or selling property in Australia. Why? A Certificate of Title is official proof of a person or entity’s ownership of a piece of land. Without a Certificate of Title, you will be unable to proceed with selling or transferring ownership of your property.
A Certificate of Title is a state-issued document that indicates who the legal owner of a property is. The Certificate of Title is issued to the current owner of a property and will change hands during the settlement period of the sale of a property. It is an important document when it comes to property transactions because it proves ownership and also contains key information about the property including previous owners, mortgage details, restrictions on the land and other information associated with the property.
Who holds a Certificate of Title?
Certificates of Title are issued and held by the state Land Titles Office. Information about Certificates of Title are publicly available and can be viewed by doing a title search through an authorized provider. The original Certificate of Title for a property is held by the state Land Titles Office and a duplicate is issued to the owner and is held by the owner or their bank if the property is mortgaged. Each time a property is sold, the Certificate of Title for the property is updated with the name of the new owner and the sale details, the original is held at the Land Titles Office and a duplicate is issued to the new owner.
Are Certificates of Title available online?
Previously, Certificates of Titles were only available on paper, but these days it is possible to access the Certificate of Title for a property online. For Victorian Certificates of Title visit the Landata website, for Queensland Certificates of Title visit the Titles Queensland website. If you want to obtain a paper copy of your Certificate of Title, contact a property conveyancer to complete a formal request with the state Land Titles Office.
What information is contained in a Certificate of Title?
The Certificate of Title for a property contains key details about the land and can be used to confirm factors such as boundary measurements or land size as well as any legal arrangements that might affect the property. Here is some of the key information that is contained in a Certificate of Title:
* The ownership of the property. The Certificate of Title includes the name of the current owner, or owners, as well as previous owners.
* Any easements. An easement is the right given to someone who doesn’t own the property to use a section of land for a specific purpose, such as for a shared driveway or path, or for access for service infrastructure such as electricity, water or sewerage.
* Covenants. Covenants are guidelines or restrictions that can limit any development on the land. Covenants can restrict not only what can be built on the land and where, but also in some cases what materials or colours can be used in the build.
* Caveats. Broadly speaking, a caveat is an alert that another party has an interest in the property. A caveat is a legal notice lodged with the state land registry that a person or entity may have a claim to part, or all, of your property.
* Mortgages. If there is a mortgage on the property, the bank or lender usually holds the Certificate of Title, instead of the property owner. The relevant lending institution providing the mortgage will then be listed on the Certificate of Title.
Who do I speak to for more information about a Certificate of Title?
An experienced property conveyancer will be able to guide you through any questions you might have about Certificates of Title, including assisting you to arrange for a replacement copy if it has been lost or answering specific questions about transferring property ownership and managing the paperwork involved. If you don’t yet have a property conveyancer, visit Jim’s Property Conveyancing in Brisbane or Conveyancing In Melbourne, or phone 13 15 46 for expert assistance.