Title Defects: How to Avoid Unforeseen Costs & Conflicts When Buying a Property with Paul Watkins

Title Defects: How to Avoid Unforeseen Costs & Conflicts

In This Episode

Your property is only as good as the title you hold. But in many cases, your land title is not at as good as what you thought it is because of defects. Title defects involve the ownership and regulations surrounding the land, including laws, zoning, and neighboring property interests.

In this episode of the WA Property Q&A podcast, we are joined by Paul Watkins, the Lead Legal Counsel for Stuart Title Australia to discuss the different title defect scenarios that you need to keep an eye on.

  • We discussed the importance of understanding title defects when buying property in Western Australia (WA).
  • Different types of title defects
  • Why you need title insurance
  • The importance of seeking professional advice and undertaking due diligence checks when buying property in WA


While many buyers focus on building defects, title defects can cause significant issues.

In WA, it is common for buyers to discover title defects after purchasing a property, which can lead to conflicts. One significant type of title defect is boundary defects, where the fence of a property does not align with the legal boundary, encroaching on neighboring properties or reducing the land owned by the buyer. These boundary disputes can lead to adverse possession claims, where neighbors may claim ownership of the encroached land if the fence has been in place for a long time.

Overall, this episode provides valuable insights into the nuances of buying property in WA and the importance of understanding and addressing title defects.


0:03:41 Title Defects: Boundary Issues and Adverse Possession

0:09:38 Title Defects: Minimum Lot Size and Building Restrictions

0:12:05 Fences, adverse possession, and compensation approach.

0:14:03 Unregistered easements and liability in subdivisions.

0:22:11 Unauthorized Structures and Council Compliance

0:32:48 The Hidden Risk of Special Levies in Property Sales

0:35:24 Unforeseen Issues in Property Buying: Title Defects and More

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