IT IS UNSAFE TO RELY ON THE DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE.
Why Can’t I rely on the owner’s duplicate Certificate of Title?
For Strata Titles a search should always be conducted against the Strata Plan as encumbrances such as easements, restrictive covenants are registered against the Strata Plan only. The Bye-laws of the Strata Corporation and any modifications thereof or modifications to the lots or buildings are registered against the Strata Plan only.
What is available to be searched at the Titles Office?
The Land Titles Division is a public office and upon the payment of the appropriate fee customers may search the following documents:
APPLICATIONS TO BRING LAND UNDER THE OPERATIONS OF THE REGSITRATION OF TITLES ACT MAY NOT BE SEARCHED EXCEPT WITH THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE PERSON DEPOSITING THE APPLICATION OR AN ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT.
What's on the Certificate of Title?
You will find:
An easement is a right granted by an owner over his land to the owner of another parcel. The right may take many forms but the most common is a right of way, that is, the right of one owner to go and pass and re-pass over the land of the grantor without hindrance. It can restrict the ability to use the land, for instance, whether there is a right of way across the land or a part of the land is reserved for supplying power or sewerage drainage. An easement is important because it might mean you can't build over it.
A title search will tell you whether the owner has a mortgage over the land. It will tell you the name of the person or financial institution which has the mortgage and the principal amount secured by that mortgage. If the mortgage has been paid up or discharged it will also be entered on the title as a Discharge of Mortgage.
A caveat is an injunction restraining the Registrar from entering a change of interest. It means that someone is claiming an estate or interest adverse to the owner and wishes an opportunity to establish the interest before any change of ownership. Example, the registered owner has a personal loan and this is secured against the property. When a Caveat is lodged it prevents any dealings with the Title, for example, a transfer or mortgage will not be registered if there is a Caveat on the Title. The only exception is where a consent or withdrawal of caveat is obtained from the Caveator or his duly authorized agent or in the case of caveats lodged by a Utility Company, usually to protect an easement of way for power or water lines, where the instrument is made subject to the caveat.
If there are any caveats on the title, it is important to get legal advice before you buy or lend money for which the title is to be used as a security. Your lawyer should make sure that:
Certified copies of all documents available to be searched at the Office of Titles may be requested by the customer. To apply for a certified copy of any title related documents the customer should complete the search request form and indicate that the request is for a certified copy and pay the required fee. The Copies are certified by the Registrar or duly authorized officer and authenticated by the Seal of the Office. These documents are accepted as evidence by any court and are often used by the registered proprietor in posting bail for incarcerated persons.
Handling of Original Documents
When conducting a search persons may be offered a photocopy of the title document requested. This is to prevent loss, damage or misuse of the original documents and reduce the time spent at the Division inspecting documents.
Search Request by Post
We do accept request for searches by post provided that sufficient information is given to properly conduct the search and the required fees accompany the request. Results of the search will be sent by post.
Specific Search - Fee No. 19
General Search - Fee No. 20
Certified Copies - Fee No. 32 & 33