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Title records

Title records in South Australia can be classified as -

Certificate of title (CT) - a computerised certificate issued pursuant to the Real Property Act, which certifies that the person named therein as the registered proprietor has title to the land described in the certificate. Certificates of Title are all considered 'Torrens title'.  These can include;

  • Strata title
  • Community title
  • Company and Moiety title

Crown record (CR) - a computerised record of un-alienated crown land.

Crown lease (CL) - a lease of Crown land authorised by statute (the Crown Land Management Act 2009).  For more information go to the Department for Environment and Water website.

Limited title (LT) - a certificate of title issued as part of the conversion process from the old system, where either survey data or proof of ownership is insufficient to issue a regular certificate of title.

Example of a Certificate of Title

Example of a Crown Record Example of a crown lease Example of a Limited Certificate of Title

click on the image to see a larger version

More information on each of the certificate title types is provided below.

Torrens title

A Torrens title is a single certificate of title for an allotment of land. It is the most common type of title in South Australia. All transactions such as transfers of ownership are registered on the certificate of title.

The Torrens title certificate shows:

  • details of who currently owns the property
  • any easements - eg for water pipes, registered on the property
  • any encumbrances - eg mortgages, registered on the property
  • the title's unique reference details - eg volume and folio numbers.

A record of all Torrens title properties are held by the Lands Titles Office and a potential buyer can check the records for any property through SAILIS.

Recent amendments to the Real Property Act 1886 have fundamentally changed the way a property conveyance is undertaken. The catalyst for these changes was the introduction of Electronic Conveyancing, with the associated reforms aligning the requirements for documents lodged electronically and in paper. The amendments relate to:

Strata title

Strata titles

A strata title is usually associated with townhouses, units and commercial property such as shops or warehouses. A strata plan divides the land into units owned by individuals and common areas which are jointly shared and owned by all titleholders in the group. The boundaries of a strata title are defined by reference to parts of the building and not by reference to surveyed land measurements.

Strata corporations

The strata corporation formed on deposit of the plan in the Lands Titles Office consists of the current owners of the units in the scheme. The strata corporation’s functions include the administration and maintenance of the common property and enforcement of the articles (rules) of the corporation. The unit entitlements which are annexed to the strata plan determine the share unit owners contribute to insurance and other fees collected by the corporation.

Meetings and voting

The Strata Titles Act 1988 requires the strata corporation to hold meetings at least once a year to ensure the strata scheme is adequately insured and to discuss other matters as required by the law. Each unit owner has one vote and where a unit is owned by two or more people this vote is shared between them.

Restrictions

The Strata Titles Act 1998 requires strata schemes to comply with the articles as set out in Schedule 3 of the Strata Titles Act 1988. These can be changed by special resolution at a strata meeting. Any changes to the articles must be noted in the strata meeting minutes and lodged with the Lands Titles Office.

Articles can include:

  • not keeping pets or animals at the property
  • maintaining your unit in good condition
  • not obstructing the common areas
  • not using the unit for illegal purposes.

Dealing with a dispute

If you are having a problem with another unit owner your strata corporation may be able to help you. If you are having a problem with a disruptive neighbour see General advice for coping with a disruptive neighbour.

If you are in dispute with your strata corporation you can contact Community Mediation Services. They may be able to act as a neutral third party to help you resolve the issue. If mediation is not successful you can apply to the Magistrates Court to decide the matter.

There is no government agency to oversee the management of strata titles or to resolve disputes.

Community title

A community plan is the division of land into at least two lots and an area of common property. Common property relates to land that is shared within the community scheme such as the service infrastructure and driveways. A community title is issued for each lot and the common property. Community titles can relate to residential, office and other commercial uses. In some instances, the different uses are contained within the one community title scheme. There are two types of community titles:

  • community strata scheme
  • community scheme.

Community strata schemes

Community strata lot boundaries are defined by reference to the buildings on the community parcel. In a community strata scheme, the buildings form part of the common property and are therefore the responsibility of the community corporation to maintain and insure.

Community schemes

The boundaries for each lot in a community scheme are defined by surveyed land measurements. They are unlimited in height and depth unless otherwise specified on the plan of community division.

The owner of each lot is responsible for the maintenance and insurance of any building on their lot. The community corporation is responsible for insuring any buildings or structures in common areas.

The community corporation

The community corporation is formed on deposit of the plan in the Lands Titles Office and consists of the current owners of the lots in the scheme. The community corporation’s functions include the administration and maintenance of the common property, the enforcement of by-laws and the management of development contracts.

The Community Titles Act 1996 requires the community corporation to meet at least once a year to ensure the community scheme is adequately insured and to discuss other matters as required by the law. Each lot owner has one vote. If the lot is owned by two or more people the vote is shared between them.

The lot entitlements which are annexed to the community plan determine the share that lot owners contribute to insurance and other fees charged by the corporation.

Community by-laws

All community schemes must have by-laws that include provision for the administration, management and regulation of the use and enjoyment of the common property and community lots. By-laws may impose a penalty for contravention of or failure to comply with a by-law.

The original by-laws document is lodged in the Land Titles Office (LTO) at the same time as the community plan. By-laws can be varied by a special resolution at a community corporation meeting. The variation must be lodged at the LTO within 14 days of the resolution being passed.

Dealing with a dispute

If you are having a problem with another lot owner your community corporation may be able to help you. If you are having a problem with a disruptive neighbour see General advice for coping with a disruptive neighbour.

If you are in dispute with your community corporation you can contact Community Mediation Services. They may be able to act as a neutral third party to help you resolve the issue. If mediation is not successful you can apply to the Magistrates Court to decide the matter.

There is no government agency to oversee the management of community titles or to resolve disputes.

Related information

Other websites

For an alternative version of these documents contact Land Services

Legislation

Company and Moiety title

Company titles were used before 1967 for groups of units and flats and, although they are no longer common in South Australia, some still exist. There are two main types company titles and moiety titles.

Company titles

A company is registered on the certificate of title as the sole owner of the land a group of units sits on. Owners are issued with a share certificate in the company. Each unit owner has the exclusive right to occupy their unit and have the right to use common areas. When a unit is sold the share certificate is transferred to the buyer.

Moiety titles

In a moiety title, sometimes referred to as a cross lease, the ownership of a unit comes from being the registered owner of a share of the land the group of units sits on. The owner is leasing the right to occupy their unit, along with the right to use common areas, from the other unit owners.

Converting company titles and moiety titles

Most company and moiety titles can be converted into either a community title or a torrens title. This can make the administration simpler and may increase the value of the property.

If you are considering converting a company or moiety title it is strongly recommended that you consult a professional surveyor and conveyancer or solicitor due to the complex legal nature of the transfer.

Related information

Downloads

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