FAQ - Property Records

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Can I have a copy of my Certificate of Title for my house?

Public Record Office does not hold these records. To ascertain when a property was purchased you can obtain a copy of the land title from Land Victoria. Their contact details are:

Land Victoria
(Formerly Land Titles Office and Central Plan Office)
570 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Telephone: (03) 8636 2010
Website: www.land.vic.gov.au

Do you have Council Rate Books?

PROV holds a wide selection of rate records for Victorian Municipalities. These records are referred to by various names such as rate or valuation books, records or cards. Rate and valuation records typically list the name of the owner, address, a brief description of the dwelling, the rates paid and sometimes the occupant's name and the name of the house. These records were created annually and are often arranged by streets within council wards and ridings. They are an excellent resource for determining the date of construction of a property, changes in ownership and sometimes occupancy. Some rate records are available on microfilm and microfiche in PROV reading rooms and do not have to be ordered. See PROV's guides to Microfilm, Microfiche and Online Resources at the Victorian Archives Centre   and Microfilm, Microfiche and Online Resources at the Ballarat Archives Centre for more information about accessing records on microfilm and microfiche.

To search for rate records, the first step is to identify the relevant council that created them. A list of councils for which PROV holds records can be found in VRG12 Municipalities on PROV's Online Catalogue at www.access.prov.vic.gov.au and click on the Related Agencies tab. When you have located the page in the catalogue for the council you are seeking, click on the Agency Number (VA link) and then the Records tab for a list of Series held at PROV by that council.

Where can I look at Parish Plans?

A digitised set of parish plans, VPRS 16171 Regional Land Office Plans Digitised Reference Set is available on PROV's Online Catalogue. See PROVguide 30 Parish and Township Working Plans Onlinefor details. Parish plans are also available on microfiche  in the Victorian Archive Centre (VAC) and Ballarat Archive Centre (BAC) reading rooms.

Can I have a copy of a Parish Plan?

If, after you have located the required Parish Plan, (see previous FAQ), you would like a copy for your own use, there are several options:-

  • you can save it to a USB  stick
  • you can print the pdf from your own computer
  • PROV can make high resolution digital copies
  • you can order a large format copy from PROV

For information on copying services available at PROV, please refer to PROVguide 2 Copying and Publishing Public Records - Copying Services

How much did my parents pay for their house when they bought it?

The Office of the Valuer General (VA 2322) is the state’s independent authority on property valuations. The Valuer General Victoria oversees all significant government property valuations and council rating valuations.

VPRS 8040 Valuation Registers By 1930 - ?1979  consists of loose-leaf valuation registers which appear to be initiated for land tax purposes. This series therefore provides a comprehensive lot by lot record of land values throughout Victoria. For each property the following details were able to be recorded in the register:

  • no. of house (metropolitan only)
  • dimensions of land (metropolitan land) or acreage (rural land)
  • lot and lodged plan number or Crown Allotment number
  • details of improvements on the land, eg: type of building
  • capital improved value
  • unimproved value
  • year in which a municipal valuation of the property was adopted
  • sale particulars, including : price, date of transfer, whether cash or terms
  • tax payer details, ie a record of the owners of the property
  • title volume and folio number if known.

For details of properties sold after 1980, contact the Office of the Valuer-General Victoria directly.

Do you have copies of MMBW sewerage plans?

In 1892, the MMBW commenced a survey of the Melbourne metropolitan area as the first step in establishing the city's sewer system. As a result of the survey, records such as VPRS 8601 Detailed Base Plans and VPRS 8600 Survey Field Books were created to plot water, sewerage and drainage infrastructure. They show streets, buildings and property boundaries, and sometimes the outline of gardens and other features. Browse the page about VA 1007 Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works on PROV's online catalogue for an inventory of records created by the MMBW.

A selection of digitised MMBW detailed base plans covering central areas of Melbourne, and a digitised copy of the MMBW Index Map Book can be accessed through the State Library of Victoria's website available at www.slv.vic.gov.au/mmbw. These maps can vary from those held by PROV.

How do I order Planning Schemes?

PROV holds records of the various planning schemes. To search for the records you may wish to use the following method. From the Searching menu select Advanced Search, then select Item and enter a term relating to the function of government you are looking for, eg. "Cranbourne Planning Scheme" on the exact phrase line, and click on Search. A Search Result page will display entries that contain the term you entered. Select the hyperlink (VPRS number) for the entry you wish to look at in detail. This will bring you to a catalogue page about that series. If the records are on open access they can be ordered via PROV's online catalogue. Once ordered, records can be viewed in the specified reading room. Records are available for 10 working days from the date ordered.

Please consult PROVguide 21 Ordering Records and PROVguide 2 Copying and Publishing Public Rcords - Copying Services for further information on ordering and copying records.

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