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Property title and the legacy of ANZAC

The hundredth anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli on April 25th 1915, gives us all a significant moment to pause and reflect on the benefits of living in this wonderful and abundant country that we call home.

In remembering the personal sacrifices of Australians who have served as members of our defence forces, it is important to consider the relevance of what they did, to the freedoms we enjoy today. The goal of the ANZACS was to protect and preserve the freedom of the land they loved. They fought, endured and died for their country.

In the century since the Anzac Day landing, Australia has changed positively and significantly in many ways.  In 2015 we live in a developed country that is one of the wealthiest in the world, and we enjoy home and land ownership among our privileges. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says ninety percent of Australians are satisfied with their current housing situation. An incredible statement when you consider the lack of adequate housing available to much of the world’s population.

ABS data from the 2011 census indicates that 67% of Australian households are owner occupied. The title over this property can vary and may not include the actual ownership of the land on which a house is built.

In NSW property title is managed by Land and Property Information (LPI) who maintain the largest centralised land title registry in Australia. Most freehold land titles in New South Wales are Torrens Title where a single document guarantees ownership over a house or land.

Other forms of property title include-

Strata Title which refers to unit, apartment or townhouse properties. Strata titles define the property as the airspace occupied by each unit, with common areas such as gardens and stairwells that are shared by each owner. A strata corporation is set up to handle maintenance of common areas and insurance of the buildings.

Community title usually refers to an entire subdivision or neighbourhood. The entire community pays to look after common grounds and gardens, security, tennis courts, pools and any other services in the neighbourhood that can all be shared by the occupants.

Company title means the owner does not have title in any real estate but owns shares in the company, the right to occupy a defined area usually a particular apartment in the building owned by the company.

When Australia was first settled, there was no formal system for registering the ownership of land. Old System Title currently applies to this land but the LPI is working to convert it to the Torrens system.

Leasehold title means that ownership of a property is in actual fact a right to use the land which may have a house built on it for a specified term.

Private ownership of land under a government managed system of title is a privilege which affords the owner the right to use the land, and to dispose of it how and when they choose. We are able to borrow against our asset as its value increases which provides us with opportunity. Living in a nation where we are free to work, prosper and own property, we should all take a moment this ANZAC Day to give thanks to those who paved the way for us.


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