Unlocking Property Titles: Your Pathway to Informed Ownership

Illustrated diagram of different property title types in Australia

Navigating the realm of property ownership in Australia can often feel like a tangled web of legal terminologies and endless paperwork. Central to this process is understanding what a property title is and how it impacts your ownership rights. At Pearson Chambers Conveyancing, we simplify the complex process of property transfer, making it affordable and drama-free. Here, we delve into the essential bits about property titles, helping you unravel what lies beneath the legalese.

A property title is a legal document encapsulating vital details about a property. It signifies who owns the property and outlines any encumbrances—like mortgages, caveats, or covenants and easements—that might be associated with it. These details change hands at settlement, when the vendor's name on the title is replaced by the new purchaser’s name, and any existing mortgage is discharged, possibly being replaced by the purchaser’s mortgage.

Nowadays, the traditional paper Certificate of Title has morphed into electronic versions, usually held either by a bank or a legal representative of the proprietor.

So why does understanding property titles matter? Because the type of title you have delineates your rights, and could influence any alterations or improvements you wish to make on your property. Moreover, not all lenders are open to financing all types of titles, thus, having a proficient lawyer and conveyancer like the ones at Pearson Chambers is crucial for insightful contract advice.

Let's delve into the different types of property titles that are predominant in Australia:

  1. Torrens Title: This is the most common title system across many Australian states, registering property ownership with the Land Registry Office at settlement. Essentially, it implies "freehold" ownership, covering both the land and the dwelling on it. Should there be a mortgage on the property, the lending institution retains the certificate of ownership until the mortgage is settled.

  2. Strata Title: A strata title is synonymous with properties where ownership is limited to certain parts, common among Australian apartments. While individuals own their respective units, common areas or land are collectively owned, managed either by the owners or an external body.

  3. Company or Stratum Title: Here, property owners purchase shares in the company owning the building and act as directors, with a licence to use their property. This title system predates the advent of strata titles.

  4. Limited Torrens Title: This title is associated with properties lacking clear boundary demarcations. Determining ownership portions often requires a paid investigation.

  5. Community Title: Employed in large estates, community titles facilitate shared management of properties among a community, while allowing individual ownership and mortgage rights.

Wondering how to get a copy of your title certificate? A search at the State Government’s Land Titles Office should provide you the details, although a fee applies. You can also have conveyancers or lawyers at Pearson Chambers Conveyancing conduct this search for you. Rest assured, our seasoned property and conveyancing lawyers possess extensive expertise in property law, ready to assist you with all your property-related concerns.

Get in touch with us at Pearson Chambers Conveyancing today. You can reach us via email at contact@pearsonchambers.com.au or phone at 0421 058 106, and we’d be delighted to guide you through your property journey.


Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and may not cater to your specific circumstances. It should not be utilized as a basis for legal, tax, or accounting advice. The legal advice provided may vary based on individual situations. The expressed viewpoints within this article are strictly those of the author and may not represent or align with those of Pearson Chambers. All content is protected under copyright, owned by Pearson Chambers Pty Ltd