Torrens Title: What is the difference between Strata and Torrens Titles?

Dominic Nguyen

Dominic Nguyen

What is the difference between Strata Title and Torrens Title?

When purchasing a property in NSW, it is important for you to consider the type of title that the property falls under. This is particularly true if the property falls under a Strata Title, as there are certain rules and issues related to property that is Strata Title.

If you’re a first home buyer, you may want to consult a property lawyer who specialises in Sydney conveyancing services before you make your buying decision.

What is a Torrens Title?

A Torrens Title system is the most traditional form of ownership. When you buy a property that falls under the Torrens Title, you are the sole owner of both the house and the plot of land on which the house is built. The property is registered with the Department of Lands and Information.

What is a Strata Title?

A property that is Strata Title allows it to be co-owned by several owners. When you buy a property that falls under the Strata Title, such as a townhouse or an apartment unit, you share the common areas such as the lobby and the gardens with other people who live in the same apartment. You also share the responsibility, through an Owners Corporation, of maintaining these common areas. The obligations of the owners are set out in the By-Laws, which could cover anything from parking, use of common property and keeping of pets.

Property that is Strata Title is not only divided horizontally, as in property that is Torrens Title, but it is also divided vertically. A Strata property is broken down according to the Schedule of Unit Entitlements. For example, in a residential apartment building, a penthouse apartment with a great view of the city usually have more unit entitlements than a regular unit.

Things to consider when buying a Strata property

If you are thinking of buying a Strata Title property, there are a few things that you should consider.

Additional Strata payments – Besides your own bills such as electricity and gas, you have to pay Strata payments on a regular basis to cover the upkeep and maintenance of the common areas when you buy a Strata property.  These strata payments usually include payments into the sinking and administration fund.

Compulsory by-laws – If you want to make any changes to your Strata property, you will need to inform and get the consent of the Owners Corporation first. Some by-laws may impose other rules on the owners. For example, some by-laws may prohibit owners from keeping pets.

If you need assistance with drafting special by-laws to allow changes to your property, it is advisable for you to contract a property lawyer who can guide you through the process.

The above are just some examples. If you’re interested in buying a property that is Strata Title, it is best that you seek expert advice of a property lawyer who provides Sydney conveyancing services.


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Dominic Nguyen
Dominic Nguyen

Dominic is one of Sydney's leading property lawyers with over 10 years experience in this area of law. Dominic has outstanding knowledge and extensive experience in family law, conveyancing, buying and selling of businesses, commercial and retail leasing, building and construction, strata law, easements, opposing development applications and compulsory acquisitions.