Land Titles: Which type and what are they.

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July 16, 2015
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August 25, 2015

Land Titles: Which type and what are they.

Posted by : Uma Mahadeva   18  August 2015. If you have bought a property or were thinking of buying a property recently you may have come across the word “Torrens Title” or “Strata Title” in the vendors statement (also known as section 32 in Victoria). It is important to know the different types of titles to ensure a smooth transaction come sale time and trouble free ownership. In Victoria the land office holds all title records. The certificate of title lays out information about the property, ownership of the property, covenants and caveats. More on that here:

Titles while being important to the owner is also important to the lender. Lender is wary of easements and covenants as this would affect the sale price and more importantly to you as the borrower the amount of money that the lender is willing to lend you. It also important to check if there are any caveats. A caveat is a third party legal claim to a property. This has to be discharged before full ownership is granted to the buyer and can be quite expensive to do as a lawyer or conveyancer needs to be involved. Here are the types of titles you many encounter in your next property purchase:


Torrens Title. The Torrens system was introduced in Victoria to replace the more complicated general law system of titling in 1862. It was invented by Robert Richard Torrens who was the Registrar of the State of South Australia in the 1850’s . He wanted a simpler system of title ownership to replace the more complex system in place then. The Torrens system put all ownership information on a single land register. Current ownership is then proved by this register and guaranteed by the government. This registration of title facilitates an easier transfer of title to the new owners. It is by far the most common title used in the whole of Australia.

General Law Titles. Before the Torrens system was implemented the general law titles is a succession of title deeds that had to be produced before a title could be transferred. If there was any loss of a single title in the succession it would affect the transfer. Some properties in Victoria are still on the General Law system but they are rare and are increasingly being converted to the Torrens System.

Company Titles Buyers of these titles are allocated shares in a company that owns the titles. It is an older form of strata title below.

Strata Title A strata title is given to the owners of flats, units or townhouses i.e usually where there is a subdivision and there are multiple properties on a shared piece of land. The owners then are responsible for the common property and administer their obligations through a body corporate. Note there are risks for buying a property in an older establishment as the body corporate may raise a levy from the owners for the repair of lifts, common roofs etc. It is often important to get as much information from the existing owners as possible. Hence title information represents one of the most important piece of information affecting the value of your intended property. Careful planning must take place in the title search phase of the property purchase and usually a good conveyancer would help in this regard. This article is general in nature. Professional advice from multiple sources should be sought when embarking on any housing transaction.  For more information on anything you have read in the article contact us on the information given below.

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