It is essential that a buyer has all relevant information regarding the property prior to purchase. A certificate of title, or land title, is an official record held at Land Registration Services. The title proves ownership and determines whether the vendor has a right to sell the property.
Almost all property in Victoria is registered under the Torrens Title system. This means that a certificate of title exists for each parcel of land. Once a purchaser registers their name on a particular title, they become the owners of that land. A title will also list any encumbrances attached to the land, such as building restrictions, leases or mortgages.
The purpose of a land title is to provide the purchaser with accurate and complete information about the property’s current ownership and interests. Another advantage of the Torrens system is that it assists in eliminating land disputes as registration is conclusive evidence of ownership.
As your solicitor, we will conduct a title search to confirm ownership and ensure that:
- the vendor’s statement is accurate and complete;
- there is nothing on the title that may prevent you from taking full possession of the property or give rise to a claim by a third party; and
- you can use the land as you intend to and that you are aware of any restrictions
We will conduct a final title search on the day of settlement. This will ensure there has been no dealing with the land such as a caveat or a newly registered mortgage.
Following settlement, your bank will arrange for the payment of land transfer duty with the State Revenue Office of Victoria. The certificate of title is then lodged with the Victorian Land Registration Services office. The title will be transferred into your name and you will take ownership of the property. If you haven’t obtained finance we’ll attend to stamping and registration.