Signing a Contract

Conveyancing Resource Centre

What conveyancing searches do I need?

The main searches when buying a property are:


  • Title Search – this is an official record of ownership of property and will inform you of any mortgages, easements, caveats, covenants, leases, charges or other encumbrances or administrative advice.


  • Plan Search – this is a registered plan that shows the exact surveyed boundaries and dimensions of lots on which houses, or buildings, are to be built amongst other things. It is important so there can be no confusion about the boundaries amongst other issues.


  • Rates Search – this reveals amounts payable for the quarter or half-year. It shows whether the rates have been paid up to date and whether an amount is outstanding, which will need to be adjusted at settlement. This adjustment will ensure that each party is responsible for their own portion of rates.


  • Water Meter Reading – this search provides a current water meter reading including the last water meter reading. This is used to apportion water use up to, and including, settlement. It is very important so that water and other adjustments can take place at settlement for any period that does not relate to you.


  • Land Tax Clearance Certificate – this determines whether there are outstanding amounts payable for land tax, which could be passed onto a buyer if the seller does not make payment of the overdue amount at settlement.


Other additional searches typically include whether planning permission may be granted for a future development that would negatively impact the property, the quality of the land and whether it is on the contamination register, or details of common drains and access rights over the property. 

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