Property titles in a nutshell

Madelin HayesThe West Australian
Your home will generally fall into one of four title categories – green title, purple title, strata title or survey strata.
Camera IconYour home will generally fall into one of four title categories – green title, purple title, strata title or survey strata. Credit: zetter/Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Whether you opt to purchase a townhouse, an apartment or a wide-reaching block of land, a property title works as an official record of your ownership and contains the rights of use.

While there are different rules and regulations to each title, industry experts say your home will generally fall into one of four title categories – green title, purple title, strata title or survey strata.

Green title

As the name given to a traditional block of land completely independent from its neighbouring lots in terms of ownership, green titles have conventionally been the most common title option, according to Ray White Inner North Director Arash Kalani.

“Traditionally green title has been the most common, however there has been a shift to strata as the market becomes more educated and comfortable with this title,” he said.

“The main restriction to a green title is that services/structures not specifically for that property cannot run through without easements, for example sewer easements, and in some cases they are avoided all together.

“You also cannot have individually titled multiple dwellings – apartments – on a green title.”

Purple title

Among the different forms of titles, The Agency Perth Property Partner Jack Wormington said a purple title was the most uncommon – generally found within retirement villages or multi-storey complexes.

“A purple title refers to the ownership of an undivided share in a property, where the ownership is of shareholding, rather than a green title where ownership is of title to land,” he said.

“When purchasing a property with a purple title, it is important to distinguish how the rights of use are determined, the relevant shareholding indicated and how a share transfer is reflected from one owner to another.”

Strata title

According to Mr Kalani, a strata title is the ownership of a clearly defined part of a green title – usually a building, part of a building like an apartment, a vacant lot or a combination of all or some of these.

“It often includes restrictions to building, use of areas and many other specific rules in the by-laws that are attached to the title,” he said.

“There can be strata fees relating to the daily upkeep of the whole strata and also reserve fees for any large expenses such as a replacement of major infrastructure like roofs, pools and lifts.”

Survey strata

Found within smaller subdivided lots where individual dwellings are commonly situated side by side, survey stratas are similar to strata titles, according to Mr Wormington.

“Similar to strata-titled lots, survey strata lots are created under the Strata Titles Act 1985,” he said.

“Survey strata properties will also often include building restrictions and common property such as shared driveways.”

Like a green title, Mr Kalani said individually titled apartments cannot be held on a survey strata title.

“There are no specific restrictions to building on a survey strata, unless easements or conditions are shown on the title or within the by-laws,” he said.

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