If you’re thinking about buying property in Sydney to live in or as an investment, it’s important to be aware of the potential issues you might face when it comes to land titles. As the first state to be colonised, New South Wales has an odd system of property titles featuring a unique mix of old system titles from early settlement along with modern ones.
It’s well worth getting to know some of the different property titles you can come across in the state. Whenever you purchase a property, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a conveyancer to investigate the title on your behalf, especially when there’s the chance that there may be odd title issues involved.
With the older titles, there was no system in place during those days that recorded and tallied information about the sale, prices paid, who the vendor was and who the property was sold to. Any property bought before 1863 in New South Wales will fall under this older system of property titles.
The most common type of ownership title you may see today is the Torrens title, also known as freehold, which has been the main title since the Real Property Act was passed in 1863. With this kind of title will be retained by the person listed on the title deeds unless there is an outstanding mortgage on the property. Strata titles are the most common for apartments which are similar to the Torrens but involve strata fees to help maintain shared common areas.
Leaseholds are common in situations where new land is released by the government for housing development, which gives the property owner the right to use the land for a time period, usually 99 years initially. The balance of that lease can be sold and exchanged, but the government decides how the land can be used and take back the land or renew the lease once expired.
Until 1960, there was a popular system where a company owned the land and buildings and apartments. Rather than holding title to land or buildings, buyers would instead acquire company shares entitling them to live there. While you still have exclusive right to the piece of the building you bought, the banks have a problem with it and often refuse to lend for properties with these titles. These titles are still around here and there and can catch buyers by surprise.
Dealing with properties, whether buying or selling, can be complicated and time consuming, even for experienced investors. From preparing legal documents and overseeing the negotiation and settlement processes, if you need quality, reliable conveyancing services, talk to the experienced team at Just Conveyancing.
Call us today on (03) 8580 2276 or contact us online.