If you’re a property developer in Queensland, you know that buying the right piece of land is crucial to the success of your next project. But before you start making enquiries and drawing up plans, it’s important to conduct a title search to ensure that the property is free and clear of any encumbrances or legal issues that could impact your development plans. The cost of a title search in Queensland is low when using government services, but can be much higher when using information brokers.
Why Is a Title Search Necessary?
A title search is essential ahead of any property transaction. It will highlight any potential legal issues that could affect the transaction, along with any other risks. It is part of the service offered by conveyancers and solicitors to their clients. But property developers should be carrying out a property search well before starting any purchase enquiries. Information a title search will reveal includes:
- Ownership verification: A title search can confirm the legal ownership of a property. As a developer, you want to ensure you are dealing with the correct property owner before purchasing or developing a piece of land.
- Property encumbrances: A title search can reveal any mortgages, leases, easements, caveats, or covenants on a property. Some of these could delay any transaction, while others—such as easements and covenants—can affect your ability to develop the property. In Queensland, not all encumbrances are recorded on the title, so you should also ask the owner about other encumbrances. Encumbrances not recorded on the title still need to be disclosed as part of the contract, but knowing about them early on can save you a lot of trouble.
Boundary disputes won’t show up on a standard title search. But if you are concerned about possible disputes, you can work with information brokers approved by Titles Queensland to carry out an in-depth historical title search, including survey plans.
How Much Does a Title Search Cost in Queensland?
The cost of a title search can vary depending on your need for any supporting documents, including historical title searches, instruments of dealings, or even survey plans. Using the online service provided by Titles Queensland, searches and documents cost from just over $20, to more than $40. You can also order searches and documents in person or telephonically, but using the online service is faster.
Users of the Archistar property development platform also have access to title searches and other documents from within the platform. Making it easier for you to not only find land and property for developing, but also complete a significant portion of your due diligence without ever leaving the platform. Using Archistar, you only need to select the site you are interested in to see what documents are available, and the cost of each.
For complex title searches, including bulk searches, using an authorised information broker will cost more, but also save you valuable time.
Who Can Perform a Title Search in Queensland?
Conveyancers and solicitors in Queensland can carry out property searches, and typically do so as part of any property transaction they are assisting with. Having a legal professional involved is useful if you are still unsure of the potential issues a title search can highlight.
Any individual can also use Titles Queensland to carry out title searches, while Archistar users can perform title searches from within the platform.
Titles Queensland have also authorised six distributors or information brokers:
- CITEC Confirm
- Creditworks Australia
- Dye & Durham
Given the delays and costs a title search can prevent, it’s important not to skip this step. Contact us to learn how Archistar can make work easier for you as a property developer. And this includes accessing title search documentation as soon as you have found the ideal site using Archistar.