A Certificate of Title is a record of all current information relevant to a parcel of land and includes current ownership details, legal description of the land and registered notifications, interests and encumbrances.
Specifically, it contains:
- Volume / Folio details.
- Lot on Plan details.
- Current legal owner/s.
- Any registered encumbrances (including caveats).
Note that a Certificate of Title does not include survey dimensions (eg. dimensions, angles, area) of the land. If you require the legal boundaries or survey dimensions, please refer to the Survey Plan or Strata Plan.
You can get a certificate of title online by doing a title search through the WA Government’s agency, Landgate.
Carrying out a land title search is essential when deciding to purchase a property. Searching the title is the first step to ascertaining whether there is anything that could affect your use and enjoyment of the property; for example, whether there are any registered easements or restrictive covenants.
You do not want to buy a block and find that you are not able to build what you want on it due to something listed on the certificate of title. This can happen! It is worth checking every single item listed on the certificate of title – and get legal or other professional advice if you are not 100% clear on the meaning of anything documented.
Please note that not all property interests are recorded on the Certificate of Title. Approximately 60 property interests exist in Western Australia today; most have been created by Government legislation, policies and guidelines. Some of these interests can be checked through Landgate’s Interest Enquiry service, available online through the Landgate website.
Landgate maintains the State land registry for the Western Australian government. You can purchase a copy of a Certificate of Title online or find out more about property interests in Western Australia at www.landgate.wa.gov.au.