The simplest pre-purchase enquiry a buyer can make about a property is to obtain copies of relevant documents (searches) from Landgate. Landgate is the state government’s land information authority and is responsible for maintaining records of land in Western Australia. Contact Landgate directly to order searches. You can obtain copies of Landgate document for any property in Western Australia, even if you don’t own it.
#1 Certificate of title
A certificate of title (title) is an official land ownership record issued by Landgate in paper or electronic format. Titles provide a record of:
- owners – known as registered proprietors;
- encumbrances – registered interests or claims against that ownership; for example, mortgages and caveats; and
- notifications of matters affecting the use or enjoyment of the land; for example, the benefit or burden of an easement.
If you’re buying a strata property, also search a copy of the strata plan.
#2 Encumbrances etc on title
Search copies of any limitations, encumbrances or notifications shown on the title or strata plan that will not be removed at settlement.
#3 Property interest report
The report provides information regarding interests and restrictions not listed on the title. Make further enquiries of any matters of concern.
Think critically and carefully about any information you obtain. Seek legal advice if you do not understand any of the information.