Types of Property Titles

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When buying a property, you will obtain a Title. The Title itself contains important information about the property and your rights as the Title holder. It also reflects any regulations on the property such as the manner in which the property can be used, i.e. residential or commercial.  

One of the first actions taken when purchasing a property is to have the Title searched. This is usually done by the property conveyancer. A Title search is done to protect the buyer from any negative aspects of the property, such as a lien against the property or an easement on the property. However, these are just two examples of issues that might arise in a Title search, so it is imperative that one is performed prior to purchasing any property.  

What Types of Titles Are There? 

In New South Wales there are four (4) types of Titles you can be subject to when you are purchasing a property. These four types are; 

  1. Torrens Title/Old System 
  1. Strata Title 
  1. Community Title 
  1. Leasehold 


Torrens Title 

A Torrens Title can be provided for a property that has no mortgage attached to it, or a property that is owned by a person who is technically the Title holder and is paying off a mortgage. However, in this instance the mortgagee (usually a banking institution) holds the Title to the property as collateral against the outstanding debt. Hence, a Torrens Title property holder owns the property either outright with no mortgage, or with a mortgagee holding the Title until the loan is paid. This is also known as a Freehold Estate. The name, in and of itself, describes that the property is owned by the Title holder, free and clear of encumbrances.  

This system is sometimes referred to as the Old System. The Old System was used in early times to convey property Titles to new owners. Each time the Title was conveyed all the previous Titles were supplied to the new owner. The new owner, in turn, when selling the property would add their Title to the train of paperwork showing the Title history of the property.  


Strata Title 

A Strata Title is one in which the property owner owns a single unit in a larger complex of buildings or properties. An example of this is a condominium or townhouse complex where the properties are connected and share common areas. In residential areas such as these, the property owner owns the inside of the unit, with the outer parts of the home, such amenities (pools and playgrounds) and garden areas owned by everyone.  This type of property allows each unit owner to hold the Title to their unit. With this type of ownership, the common areas and the property, in general, are often managed by a Strata management company. This company will be responsible for general upkeep of the grounds and common areas and is funded by the unit owners. 


Community Title 

The Community Title tends to be used for larger properties, including gated communities, where the homes are individually owned. However, in this type of community the homeowners are responsible for the upkeep of their own property and the common areas. It is similar to a Strata management system, but for Community Titles, the owners will choose a manager for the property in its entirety or create a committee to oversee these needs made up of the residents themselves. It should be remembered that the Community Title often, if not always, requires residents to make regular payments into a fund that is designated to take care of the cost of regular maintenance of the grounds.  



A Leasehold agreement generally applies to property that is owned by the government. In this case, the government will lease the land to a tenant for a long time, such as 99 years. Once a person enters this type of Leasehold, they have the right to occupy the land for the entire lease. The cost associated with this type of lease usually includes an initial sum and then monthly payments from there on out.  

Entering into one of these types of Titles can be an exciting opportunity for property ownership. However, it is always recommended that you seek the advice of professionals before moving forward with selecting your final option. 

In the event that you find yourself in need of assistance, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780. 

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