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What is a Certificate of Title?

A Certificate of Title is a documented record of interests and rights affecting your land. It is issued by the Registrar of Titles to the person entitled to its possession which can be the registered proprietor, mortgagee or chargee. Anyone is able to obtain a copy of title from the Titles Office.

The information included in a Certificate of Title confirms the location and dimensions of your land and any obligations affecting what can be done on or with the land.  As well as describing the land, a full copy of the title will include a diagram or plan of the land and will identify any easements, restrictions, encumbrances, caveats and notices where these may exist.

The title information accompanying your application to council must include a register search statement and the title diagram and any relevant associated title documents known as ‘instruments’ such as Covenants or Section 173 Agreements. This is what we refer to as a 'Full Copy of Title'.

You can use this information when making a decision to purchase a property and in most circumstances a full copy of the certificate of title is supplied in the Section 32 "Contract of Sale" that you receive from the real estate agent. Details to consider are: 

  • Is there anything listed that could prevent a smooth settlement?
  • Are there any encumbrances, caveats or notices recorded?
  • Check for anything that could restrict your use or enjoyment of the property in terms of ownership rights.
  • Is there anything listed that will compromise your ownership rights now or in the future?

The Volume/Folio, Lot on Plan and/or instrument references are the key to unlocking other information related to the property. By using these details you can also:

  • Obtain copies of other documents listed, such as transfers, caveats, memorials, or a copy of the survey plan.
  • Trace ownership back over many years to the first Title, Crown Grant or Deed.

The reason you need to provide a copy that is issued no older than 3 months with your application is because Council uses this information to confirm ownership details, lot numbers and addresses, to ensure we do not give approval to any development that is restricted by a covenant, caveat or Section 173 Agreement and to know where the easements are located and what type of easement you may have. 

Council applications that require a Copy of Certificate of Title are:

How to obtain a copy of title?

The City of Kingston can purchase a Full Copy of Title on your behalf when it is associated with a council application for a search fee of $60.00. Please download and fill in this application form (18KB).

Alternatively, you can search on-line through Title & Property Certificates which is an easy to use self service that includes online retrieval of information such as Certificates of Title and associated plans of subdivision and documents. You can access this service by logging on to www.landata.vic.gov.au and follow the general public access links for Titles and Property Certificates. Otherwise you can visit Landata Victoria located at Level 10, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne or by phoning them directly on (03) 8636 2456 . There is a fee for this service and payment by credit card is required. A further fee may be required for a Land Index Search if the Volume Folio Identifier is unknown or to search for additional instruments and other documents of interest.

Otherwise, you can obtain a copy of the title by employing the services of a professional title searcher, conveyancer or solicitor who can assist you with obtaining all the necessary documentation for a fee.

Glossary of Terms

Full Street Address - Allocated by Council to describe the location of a property. The full street address consists of a number, a road name and a locality or suburb.

Title - The document issued by Land Registry registering a proprietor's land ownership details and it has a unique volume / folio number.  A title can relate to one parcel or many parcels of land.

Plan Number - The number allocated by Land Registry for plans created to subdivide, consolidate or define land parcels (e.g. PS302468, PC356219, TP1029).

Volume and Folio number - The reference number allocated to a title by Land Registry when the title has been created.  It is found on the title document.

Lot and Plan Number - The number allocated to a parcel of land created on a plan of subdivision or title plan, such as, Lot 1 PS306248.  The map service shows many lot and plan numbers for parcels.

Restrictive Covenants - Restricts the land owners from types of use or development of their land. (E.g. Construction of one or more dwelling on an allotment; Use of land or Types of building materials that can be used.) 

Section 173 Agreements - A legal agreement between the land owner and the responsible autority made under the provisions of the Planning & Environment Act 1987 that sets out any conditions or restrictions on the use and/or development of land. This agreement along with restrictive covenants are binding to both the present and subsequent owners of the property.

Property - The description applied to land under common occupation particularly for the purposes of rating, billing or habitation. Properties are typically described by street address or a 'rate assessment number' allocated by an authority, e.g. local government or utility.  A property can consist of one parcel (e.g. a suburban house-block); many parcels (e.g. a farm); or part of a parcel (e.g. a shop in a development).  Council's view of property is usually seen as being definitive and is described by a Council Property Number.

Lot and Plan Type description - The points below show the abbreviations and descriptions of plan types. 

  • CP - Plan of Consolidation
  • CS - Cluster Subdivision/Plan
  • LP - Lodged Plan
  • PC - Plan of Conslidation
  • PS - Plan of Subdivision
  • RP - Registered Plan
  • TP - Title Plan
  • SP - Strata Plan 

For more information please call us on 9581 4130 or alternatively, come down with your plans and ideas to Level 1, 1230 Nepean Highway Cheltenham for a chat with our Building and Planning administration officers between the office hours of 8.30am - 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.