Prior to 1994 most properties had a paper certificate of title issued for it. This certificate was required in order to deal with property, by sale, transfer, mortgage or otherwise.
As of current, paper certificates of titles are now being phased out and all states and territories only issue electronic copies of a title.
Electronic title searches are often conducted to determine:
• the owner (registered proprietor) of a parcel of land
• the correct land description of a parcel of land
• the type of encumbrances or interests which may affect the land e.g. mortgage
• the last transfer document number (if a copy is obtained the last sale price is usually recorded)
Where is The Current Owner Shown?
The registered proprietor is shown under the “FIRST SCHEDULE”
What is a Dealing?
A dealing is an instrument which is registrable on a title of land, it would refer to a transaction affecting the land.
What are Encumbrances?
An encumbrance is a legal interest held by or duty owed to someone other than the registered proprietor (legal owner) of property. All encumbrances are shown in the “SECOND SCHEDULE”. Typical encumbrances placed on properties are liens (such as mortgages) and limitations (being easements, covenants and restrictions).
As an encumbrance is not always an ownership interest, property subject to an encumbrance may be bought or sold subject to the encumbrance, and in this case, the buyer will be bound by the encumbrance unless released prior to or at settlement.
Types of encumbrances that can be placed on your property:
- Easements: An easement is a section of land registered on your property title, which gives someone the right to use the land for a specific purpose even though they are not the land owner. An example is a shared driveway. There are also certain statutory easements which are not registered on your title, such as power or telephone lines, or drainage easements
- Liens: A lien is a legal claim or a right against property. Liens provide security, allowing a person or organization to take property or take other legal action to satisfy debts and obligations. Liens are often part of the public record, informing potential creditors and others about existing debts.
- Leases: A lease grants the tenant exclusive possession over land, and can be transferred after a sale if the lease is current. In other words, if a property is sold with a tenant who has a current lease, then they continue to enjoy occupancy until such time that the lease expires. Commercial leases are usually registered on title, whereas residential leases are not.
- Covenants: Are usually a restriction on the use or development of land, they tend to focus on the type of building or activity permitted.
If your unsure of any encumbrances or caveats listed on your property, please get in touch with your local solicitor who can explain this more.