Property Searches

CRR Searches Crucial for Property Transactions

Central Register of Restrictions (CRR) Searches serve as an indispensable tool for lawyers and conveyancers involved in property transactions. Their significance cannot be overstated, especially in relation to safeguarding client’s interests and ensuring thorough due diligence is conducted. 

In New South Wales, NSW Land Registry Services maintains the CRR, a centralised database recording potential and actual use of land by government agencies and utilities on behalf of participating organisations. From easements to heritage listings and planning controls, the CRR captures a wide array of encumbrances that may affect a property's value or intended use. The insights uncovered from CRR searches can help legal professionals confidently navigate property transactions, ensuring the best possible outcomes for their clients. 

What can CRR searches reveal? 

The CRR currently captures data from 12 participating organisations, and there are many different reasons why an authority might have an interest in a property. One of the primary benefits of conducting CRR searches is the identification of any encumbrances that may affect the property's title. This could include:

  • a physical inclusion to the property (e.g. above or below ground cables), 
  • the actual or potential acquisition of the property (e.g. for new transport infrastructure), 
  • heritage listings and planning controls, plus 
  • prior land usage with potential ongoing impact (e.g. previous military use with the possibility of unexploded ordnance on site). 

By uncovering such encumbrances early in the process, buyers can make informed decisions about the property's suitability for their needs and seek legal advice to negotiate any necessary arrangements with the relevant parties. 

Case study: The Local Government Area of Liverpool 

Recent statistics provided by NSW LRS on the Local Government Area of Liverpool have illuminated the significance of CRR Searches in ensuring thorough due diligence. 

In the calendar year 2023, 90% of the property transfers recorded in the City of Liverpool were registered without a CRR Search. Yet 62% of properties in Liverpool have at least one CRR interest registered against their Title, highlighting the prevalent nature of restrictions and encumbrances in the area. Of the property sales in Liverpool conducted without a CRR Search, 77% had a CRR interest registered against the Title, underscoring the risks associated with overlooking this essential due diligence step.

Similar statistics exist for the below LGAs, where no CRR search was conducted as part of the property transfer, but an authority had an interest in the property:

  • Shellharbour  
  • Inner West  
  • Wentworth  
  • Bayside 
  • Maitland
  • Lane Cove 
  • Strathfield 
  • Richmond Valley  
  • Wollondilly  
  • Camden 
  • City of Parramatta  
  • The Hills Shire 
  • Campbelltown  
  • Blacktown  
  • Yass Valley  
  • Murray River 
  • Broken Hill  
  • Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional  

Why is this important for lawyers and conveyancers? 

Ensuring title clarity: A CRR interest is not usually noted on the title and will, therefore, not appear in a standard title search. By conducting CRR Searches, property interests can be investigated thoroughly. 

Risk mitigation: By conducting comprehensive CRR searches, lawyers and conveyancers can identify potential risks and liabilities associated with the property. This allows them to advise their clients accordingly and take appropriate steps to mitigate these risks before they escalate into legal disputes. 

Facilitating informed decisions:  Armed with the information obtained from CRR searches, lawyers and conveyancers can empower their clients to make informed decisions regarding property transactions. Whether it involves negotiating terms, resolving disputes, or pursuing alternative options, informed decision-making is crucial for protecting their clients' interests. 

By uncovering potential risks and liabilities early on, lawyers and conveyancers can advise their clients appropriately and take proactive steps to mitigate these risks, ensuring a smooth and successful transaction process. 

InfoTrack offers a range of CRR Searches, helping to safeguard buyers. Find out about participating CRR agencies, and start searching.

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