Landgate Featured Article - 19/05/15

What is a Property Interest Report?

A ‘property interest’ is a right, restriction or obligation which may impact on a landowner’s use or enjoyment of their land. 

There are 85 known interests in Western Australia, most of which are created by Government legislation, policies and guidelines. Landgate’s Property Interest Report currently holds details for 68 of these interests and can tell you which of these will apply to the property you are looking to purchase. 

Why do I need a Property Interest Report?

There are many factors to consider when buying property. Not all are as obvious as researching the location or structural aspects of a house.

That’s why Landgate’s Property Interest Report is a crucial pre-sale check, according to Landgate’s Operations General Manager Bruce Roberts.

“It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of buying a new home, whether it’s your first, or you’re upgrading,” Mr Roberts said. 

“As it’s a significant financial investment for most people, it’s really important to make a well-informed decision. The Property Interest Report can provide you with background information on a property or vacant land you are interesting in buying, before making a financial commitment. It details less known information about intended uses of land and property, which are not found on a Certificate of Title.” 

What sort of interests are stated in the report?

The information about different types of interests will vary considerably, depending on the location of the property.

For example, prospective property owners in the Perth hills area can access a Property Interest Report and learn about interests such as mining titles, native vegetation and aircraft noise. Similarly, people looking to buy property or land near the Swan River, might benefit from learning about interests pertaining to flood plains, contaminated sites and garden bore suitability.

In older areas of Perth, Landgate’s Property Interest Report outlines interests about heritage-listed properties and local planning schemes, including plans to widen roads. 

The property interest report is not just valuable for residential purchases but also can be of great assistance for purchasing commercial, retail or industrial property as it can inform the business owner of the potential impacts of these interests on their business operations.  

Why should my property professional provide me with a Property Interest Report?

Best practice requires Western Australian property professionals such as real estate agents, to exercise due skill, care and diligence when advising a potential buyer. The Property Interest Report can help with risk management through the disclosure of interests to their clients, ensuring all the facts about a property are readily available.

Axiom Conveyancing is one settlement agent that uses the Property Interest Report for this purpose. Conveyancing Manager Kristy Gall said Axiom has a strong ethos in providing clients with as much information as possible when it comes to their sale or purchase.

“A title search provides limited data regarding the property. There are potentially so many other factors which affect the property you are buying in addition to who currently owns it. So it only makes sense to make available additional supportive material that a title cannot provide,” Ms Gall said.

“A Property Interest Report ensures clients learn about interests that may affect their future property. The benefit of being able to provide clients with a detailed report on land use rights and restrictions far outweighs the small fee charged. So when it comes to providing a Property Interest Report to clients and thinking ‘why should we’, property professionals should really be thinking, ‘why aren’t we?’ ”

More than 6,000 Property Interest Reports were purchased within the first six months of the report’s public launch in 2013, a testament to how many people were eager to be better-informed when making a significant financial investment.

Where can I access a Property Interest Report?

Landgate’s Property Industry Report is updated regularly and new interests are continually investigated and added where appropriate. 

Before you buy, ask your property professional for a copy of the report, or purchase Property Interest Report directly via the Landgate website. The website also has an up-to-date list of interests currently available in the report and an Interest Dictionary, where you can learn more about Western Australian property interests.