Useful Information

In response to the recent fraudulent transfers of property in Western Australia, the Government has made legislative changes to the Settlement Agents Code of Conduct. Settlement Agents are now required to confirm that the person/s selling the property is/are the true owner/s or the person legally entitled to sell the property. The following procedure is required to satisfy this legislation.

Each owner’s signature on the Transfer of Land must be witnessed by an Acceptable Witness. The witness must be over the age of 18 and must state their full name, address and contact details They must also not be a party to the transaction.
In addition, the qualified witness must also complete the following :

  • Photocopy the original identity documents that the owner/s has provided from the list that totals 100 points.
  • Print on each photocopy the following: ‘I certify this to be a true copy of the original which has been sighted by me’.
  • Sign immediately under the above notation and state their full name, address and contact details.
  • Complete, sign and date the Identifier’s Certificate.

Glossary of Terms

Settlement – the date and time that all legal documents and money are exchanged between banks and settlement agents.

Final Inspection – Make sure that you arrange a final inspection prior to settlement. The property should be left in good condition, or at least no worse than when the offer was first made. Ensure that everything is in working order and that everything that was included in the sale contract has remained. The inspection should be arranged with the real estate agent and should normally be completed within 7 days prior to settlement.

Deposit – The initial amount of money that is paid to the seller’s real estate agent (to be held on behalf of the purchaser) and released at settlement as part of the purchase price.

Encumbrance – An encumbrance is a burden or charge that affects the use or enjoyment of the land. It can be in the form of a caveat, easement or restrictive covenant (refer definitions below) and is registered on the certificate of title.

Caveat – A caveat is a warning or caution. Where a person has an unregistered interest in real estate, a caveat can be lodged with Landgate to give notice of their interest and to prevent any further dealings with the property. A caveat must be withdrawn before any dealings can take place.

Easement – An easement is a section of land registered on your property title which gives someone the right to use the land for a specific purpose even though they are not the land owner. For example, the Water Corporation often put easements on properties for sewerage or drainage purposes.

Restrictive Covenant – A restrictive covenant is a private written agreement between landowners to restrict the use or development of land for the benefit of other land. The land where the restrictions apply is called the ‘burdened’ land. The land that benefits from the restrictions on the burdened land is called the ‘benefited’ land. You should be aware of the effect it may have on your use (including future development plans) of the property.

Stamp Duty – A tax levied by the State Government and paid by the buyer of a property prior to settlement. The calculation of stamp duty is based on the purchase price. Calculate Now

Stewart Title Limited – The Value of Title Insurance in Australia