Request your Title search here
Request your Title search by sending us an email here – a new page will open – simply let us know the address of the property you’re looking to purchase and one of our team will be onto it straight away.
If you’d like to DIY your own search, you might find the following information helpful.
A Certificate of Title is a legal document with lots of critical information on it – it pays to always be informed and to be sure you understand exactly what information and the ramifications are on the Certificate of Title of the property you want to purchase.
What is a Title?
Regardless of whether you’re buying or selling your home, there are a few terms and phrases that you’ll hear often. “Title” is one of those (you might like to check out our Real Estate A-Z Guide for more).
The Title refers to the Certificate of Title that belongs to a specific parcel of land in New Zealand. Much legal information is recorded on the Title (sometimes abbreviated to CT) and therefore it is important your solicitor undertake a complete Title search on the property you are entering into a Sale and Purchase Agreement for.
Information contained on a Certificate of Title includes:
Who the legal registered owner(s) of the property are (as well as whether they are entitled to sell the property).
The correct legal description of the property – which must match the information referred to in your Sale & Purchase Agreement (or other contract).
The size of the land. Depending on when the first Certificate of Title was issued this may be measured in metric (either in square metres or hectares) on in imperial (perches, roods, acres).
The boundaries of the property (a surveyed illustration will appear on the document detailing specific latitude & longitude references).
- Any encumbrances to be discharged from the Title (for example, a mortgage).
- Any encumbrances and/or interests which will remain on the Title.
- It identifies what type of title eg, fee simple, leasehold, cross lease, Maori land or strata title. Each of these titles has different estates. For more information on each of these types of title please refer to our Real Estate A-Z Guide.
- It identifies any building restrictions or resumptions – this could include height restrictions – which are important to know if you are purchasing a house with the intention of renovating to maximise (for example) a view of the ocean.
- It identifies the use of the land. This is important if you are purchasing a house with the intention of renting it out for business purposes.
DIY Certificate of Title Search
In New Zealand it is possible to undertake your own title search. If you would like to do this, here is a list of information you will need to know ahead of undertaking your own Certificate of Title search:
- New Zealand is broken up into Land Districts – you will need to know which Land District the property you are purchasing is in – visit the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) website.
- The CT number – this may look like “123456” on recent titles or “HN123/456” on older titles.
You can get this information from your real estate agent, property developer, or a LINZ processing centre. To do this you will need the legal description of the property – which could be identified as Lot 1 DP 1234.
You may need to visit your local council’s ratings records department for the information relating to the address. If you need to visit your council offices, allow plenty of time (especially on Mondays) as there will usually be lots of real estate agents doing the same thing.
Once you have the CT number, you can order a copy of the CT by:
- visiting one of the three LINZ processing centres in Wellington, Hamilton or Christchurch.
- through the LINZ website,
- or you can post or fax in a request to one of the three LINZ offices. A small fee is payable. You should get a copy of the CT within 36 hours.
NB: We recommend you organise your CT prior to requesting a LIM report because some councils require a copy of the CT first.
Covenants and easements
If your CT has covenants and easements detailed on it, this relates to restrictions and obligations regarding the use of the section. Usually they are put on the Title by the developer when the land is first subdivided (for example, in a subdivision where all properties must conform to a certain minimum standard in size and materials) or when someone is subdividing their own section. In this situation the original owner may, for example, stipulate height requirements to ensure their own view isn’t compromised.
Examples of covenants
- In addition to the covenant examples above, the following covenants may also be applied to a Certificate of Title:
- building controls: for example, types of materials, when the construction may take place (eg, during daylight hours), types of fencing, the colour and type of exterior cladding materials;
- whether a business may permitted to be operated from the property;
- pet restrictions – including types of pet and number of pets;
- protection of certain trees or bush
Example of Easement
Easements registered against a Certificate of Title can include:
- a right of way giving access to a back section; or
- a right to pipe water across one section to the other.
If there are easements registered on the title of the property you are looking at purchasing then it’s critical you get your conveyancer to explain the ramifications of these.
In the case of water pipes or electrical cabling, for example, there are usually building restrictions – both over and within a certain distance of underground trench. This usually means that you cannot build on this part of the section, so if you are buying a vacant section or planning to renovate and expand an existing house these may impede the plans you have in your head.
Covenants and easements stay in force even after a house has been built and you will need to reassure yourself that you can continue to fully comply with the easement or covenant.
Similarly, if for example, there is a height restriction covenant on your section you would want your neighbour to be equally covenanted so that you cannot be overshadowed or any view you might have be lost.
- As mentioned in the Purchase Guide [link back to this page URL] information, once a contract has gone unconditional it is too late to start ‘due diligence’ – of which a title search is one component.
- The $15.00 processing fee to search a Certificate of Title is a wise investment; all conveyancers or solicitors would certainly recommend you include “title search” as a condition of any Sale & Purchase Agreement.
- To be on the safe side, we would recommend you allow three working days to complete the title search. Although in today’s digital age it doesn’t always take this long we still recommend allowing this breathing space as technological glitches can add unnecessary pressure to what could be an already stressful time.
Remember – we are here to help and we’re only an email or a phone call away:
Please feel free to email Donna or call her at the office on 07 282 1630.