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CIB 395: Properties with multiple titles

Landgate has identified some instances where a property has more than one Certificate of Title and the details on the one title do not reveal the details of a second title.

This situation can result in the contract of sale and preparation of a transfer for only one of the titles to the new proprietor.

The likelihood of this situation is increased when performing a title search by property address only. This has the potential to identify only one property, as the second parcel of land may not contain property address details or notes in the ‘Statements’ section of the Certificate of Title.

Landgate has also identified that there are parcels of land that do not have a property address provided by the Local Governments. These include:

* small tracts of land
* party walls
* rights of way
* properties in the rural areas that do not contain a structure (e.g., house, shearing shed etc).

These issues appear to be arising predominantly in regional areas, although they have also occurred in the metropolitan area.

Whilst this situation is unusual, it does highlight the need for extra care to be undertaken. Landgate recommends that:

* A property street address is not relied upon as it can be changed by the Local Governments to suit changing conditions such as renumbering or renaming a street.
* Industry professionals consider with their Client when taking instructions whether the property may contain more than one Certificate of Title.
* Industry professionals utilise other available tools and documents to do a check of the lot on plan and view the aerial imagery of the property to ensure the parcel aligns with the cadastre. Utilising Landgate’s Map Viewer Plus is one tool that may assist when viewing property information. This will also help in ascertaining whether a structure on the land has been erected over the boundary of the land onto land contained in a second title.

Finally, it is important to remember that the information contained in the ‘Statements’ section of a Certificate of Title is not guaranteed and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for inspection of all other relevant documents.

Bruce Roberts
Registrar of Titles