There are a number of different titles for property in Perth so its good to know a bit about each and what to look out for so you make an informed purchase decision.
One of the most common forms of land titles, Green Title refers to property or land that does not have any common or shared areas (unless mentioned in the title) and area freestanding residence. These kinds of properties may still have restrictions and prohibitions about how the land can be utilized.
It is common for a land estate to have Restrictive Covenants and these are in place to prevent the area from degrading. They include restrictions such as where a solar hot water system can be installed on a roof and how landscaping can be done, the types of fences that can be installed.Their purpose is to keep the area looking good.
I have heard many stories of buyer purchasing a property wanting to subdivide it or install a pool only to find out afterwards that there is a main sewer line that runs directly through the back of the property. One look at the title would have identified this sewerage easement
In other cases properties have had high voltage power lines passing by them and which have restricted what can be developed. Unfortunately if the line was installed some time ago an easement may not be listed on the title and would only be assessed and applied if an application for subdivision was received. So if ever planning to develop it pays to speak to an expert in this area upfront rather than discover the limitation later.
You should always request to get a copy of the title from the selling agent.Go through all the restrictions your certificate or title entails and make relevant investigations about any matters of concern before purchasing the property.
This kind of title refers to an individual share in an entire property that is shared with other owners as well, though this is an outdated form of certificate. Retirement villages and multi storey complexes offer undivided shares in a home, which gives you the right to occupy the designated areas that come under your ownership in the determined contract. Each resident has a share in the contract that defines what area comes under their ownership. Personally I would stay clear of this type of title, you will have issues finding another buyer for it later when it comes to reselling.
Apartments, Units or Villas(Strata Title)
This is a form of ownership of an apartment, unit or villa which is a lot or part of an overall strata plan. You receive a certificate for the title for that lot whichalso gives you an undivided share in any common property. You automatically become an owner of units within a strata company with a set entitlement. This is used to split costs and gives you corresponding voting rights at meetings.
Strata title is very widely used these days because of the increasing trend towards higher density living. Any common areas in the building like corridors or hallways, pools and driveways are shared with all other owners. The strata titles act governs how these common areas can be used and protect the rights of all those owners in the strata company.
The key thing to investigate when purchasing strata is how the strata company is being run. Get a copy of the meeting minutes for the last few years. See if there are any major expenses or problems with the complex, which could bring a big increase to your strata fees or make the complex undesirable to live. Even a new complex can have problems so you must do your research and never take the selling agents word that everything is fine, they probably have not even read them.