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When navigating the real estate market in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, understanding the different types of property titles is crucial. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, an investor, or simply curious about the intricacies of property ownership, it’s essential to grasp the distinctions between Torrens, Community, and Company Title homes. Each title type has unique characteristics, implications for ownership, and legal responsibilities. Let’s explore these differences in detail.

Torrens Title
What is Torrens Title?

The Torrens Title system, introduced in Australia in the mid-19th century, is a method of property registration that simplifies the process of transferring ownership. Named after Sir Robert Torrens, who pioneered the system, this title ensures a clear, government-guaranteed record of land ownership.

Key Features

  1. Government Guaranteed: The government maintains and guarantees the accuracy of the title register, offering protection against fraud and inaccuracies.
  2. Simple Transfer Process: Transferring ownership is straightforward and typically involves minimal legal hurdles.
  3. Individual Ownership: Under Torrens Title, the property owner has complete and outright ownership of the land and any buildings on it.
  4. Boundaries and Rights: The title clearly defines the property’s boundaries and the owner’s rights, reducing disputes over land ownership.


  • Clarity and Security: With government oversight, Torrens Title provides a high level of security and clarity regarding property ownership.
  • Ease of Transactions: Buying and selling Torrens Title properties is generally more straightforward than other types.

Community Title
What is Community Title?

Community Title is a relatively new form of property ownership in NSW, designed for developments that include shared spaces and facilities, such as recreational areas, gyms, and swimming pools. This type of title is common in gated communities, townhouses, and apartment complexes.

Key Features

  1. Shared Ownership: While individual owners hold title to their specific units or lots, they also share ownership and responsibility for common areas and facilities.
  2. Community Association: Owners automatically become members of a community association, which manages the shared areas and enforces bylaws.
  3. Levy Contributions: Owners pay regular levies to fund the maintenance and management of shared spaces and amenities.


  • Access to Amenities: Owners enjoy shared facilities that might otherwise be unaffordable.
  • Managed Community: The community association provides a structured environment with rules and regulations, promoting harmony among residents.


  • Ongoing Costs: Regular levies can be significant, depending on the facilities and maintenance required.
  • Shared Responsibility: Decisions about common areas are made collectively, which can sometimes lead to conflicts among owners.

Company Title
What is Company Title?

Company Title is an older form of property ownership, primarily found in some older apartment buildings. Under this system, a company owns the entire building, and individuals buy shares in the company, which grants them the right to occupy a specific apartment.

Key Features

  1. Share Ownership: Buyers purchase shares in the company that owns the property rather than buying the property itself.
  2. Occupancy Rights: Ownership of shares grants the right to occupy a specific unit.
  3. Company Governance: The company is governed by a board of directors, and decisions about the building are made collectively by shareholders.


  • Lower Purchase Price: Company Title properties are often less expensive to purchase compared to Torrens Title properties.
  • Community Involvement: Shareholders have a say in how the building is managed.


  • Complex Financing: Obtaining a mortgage for Company Title properties can be challenging, as many banks are reluctant to lend against shares.
  • Resale Complications: Selling a Company Title property can be more complicated due to the approval process by the board of directors.
  • Limited Control: Occupancy rights and alterations to units are subject to the company’s rules and approval process.


Choosing between Torrens, Community, and Company Title properties depends on your lifestyle preferences, financial situation, and long-term goals. Torrens Title offers simplicity and security, making it ideal for those seeking straightforward ownership. Community Title provides a blend of individual and shared ownership, perfect for those who value amenities and a managed environment. Company Title, while less common today, can be an attractive option for those looking for lower entry costs and a communal living experience.

Understanding these differences empowers you to make informed decisions in the diverse and dynamic real estate market of New South Wales. Whether you’re buying your first home, investing in a property, or considering a move to a community-oriented environment, knowing the ins and outs of each title type will help you navigate your options with confidence.

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Marcus Gould LREA.
Director and Senior Buyers Agent.

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