Land Title Search for Lodging and Removing a Caveat
A land title search helps you identify the authenticity of a title. If you're interested in either lodging or removing a caveat, you firstly need to enquire with Landgate to get a search of the title to the property in question. Landgate is a Government department located in Western Australia. They are user-friendly and have an excellent website for searching property details.
It is not overly difficult to get a search for a title if you have the right information. Obviously, you need an accurate address of the property in question. If you don't get an accurate address of the property, then you will end up getting a search of another person's property. Such will be a waste of your time and money! It will also help if you have some idea of the surname (and preferably also the Christian name) of the person you believe to be the owner (or a joint owner) of the property. If a property is company owned, such information helps your search.
Access Titling Information
Unfortunately, Landgate doesn't record the registration of properties in WA by the address. Instead, each property (or piece of land) in WA is registered by its title deed. Although, we no longer use title deeds to register a change of ownership of property. The title to the property is still referred to by a 'Certificate of title's number. It usually has a volume number and a folio number (for record-keeping purposes).
Your second step is to obtain the certificate of title details. This includes the volume and folio number of the property. You can get these details by carrying out a 'General Enquiry' search of the property. Get this information by accessing the Landgate website. Check for property titles via the name of the person you think is the owner.
Thirdly, if you find you are having difficulties (and wasting time) in getting these details, the answer is simple - spend some money! For convenience, get a search carried out by someone in the property industry. It can be a friendly real estate agent, settlement agent, a lawyer you know, or yours truly. The basic charge by Landgate (or one of its authorised agents) is about $25. There is also usually an additional charge by a property professional or lawyer who carries out the search for your benefit.
In my next blog, I will discuss "Getting info about the property and its owner" (to lodge or remove a caveat).
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