If you are interested in buying or selling property in the State of Queensland, it is important to know the different types of titles that can apply and the consequences of each.
What is a property title?
A title is an interest in property that confirms ownership. There are several types of titles that can be held in property across Australia.
Here are the main types of titles you can find in Queensland and what they tell you about the property.
This may also be called ‘freehold’ title. What it means is that the ownership of the property is registered and protected by the government. It is the most common in residential property as well as some commercial property.
The individual or individuals named as title-holder are therefore the absolute owner of the property (subject to any mortgage), which is reflected in a register that is maintained by the government.
Once an individual is registered they are the owner to the exclusion of others with few exceptions.
This may also be called ‘strata’ title, and it applies when a group of properties are located on the same site but covered by one title.
An example of a group title would be a lot of commercial properties owned by different entities that share driveways, gardens and common facilities such as stairways.
The owner of each property will own what is inside their respective property, but not what is outside.
Company title is where several people (as a company) own a piece of property together, like shareholders.
The shareholders do not actually own the property but have acquired the right to occupy it according to their portion of shares in the company. For example, one individual may own 50% of the shares in a company and may therefore entitled to occupy property owned by that company.
A range of legislation applies to companies who own or are considering owning or leasing property. There are also many conditions attached to company title, which will affect its transfer.
Leasehold title is where property is owned by the State or the Crown (the Commonwealth of Australia) but is bought for a given amount of time by someone else.
Leasehold titles are common in rural areas such as farms, but can also be used for large tourism complexes and commercial or industrial activities. In Queensland, approximately 64% of the property is held in this way.
It is a bit like leasing the property from the government, and any changes to the property would require its permission.
When looking to purchase or sell a unit in a retirement village, there are many types of structures that will determine the title held. This type of property may be a mixture of leasehold title, group title and other types.
As a result, there are often restrictions on how the property can be occupied, how it can be maintained or changed as well as the conditions on which it can be sold.
Dealing with retirement villages is governed by its own set of legislation and it is important to be aware that the right to live in a unit in a retirement village may not be the same as owning a home.
If you are considering buying or selling property in Queensland it is extremely important for you to be aware that there are a number of laws applicable to the transaction.
To protect your interest and to avoid any potential liabilities arising from the transaction, contact one of our conveyancers today.