On 11 October 2021, new changes to the land titles system in New South Wales came into effect to facilitate the transition in New South Wales from paper-based processes.
What are the Major Changes from 11 October 2021:
The two significant changes in effect from 11 October 2021 are:
- existing Certificates of Title will be cancelled and paper Certificates of Title will no longer be issued; and
- all land dealings must be lodged electronically which is referred to as ‘100% e-conveyancing’.
The Torrens Title register has always been and will continue to be the single source of truth as to the ownership of a person’s home. The Torrens Title register is securely stored and backed up by both New South Wales Land Registry Services and the Office of the Registrar General.
What are some of the practical effects of the changes to the Land Titles System?
- Persons who hold current paper Certificates of Title are not required to do anything with them.
- Unrepresented parties can no longer go to the New South Wales Land Registry Services to lodge dealings for registration. Unrepresented parties will now have to engage the services of a conveyancer or a solicitor who is an electronic lodgement network operator subscriber to lodge their dealings. Note that when unrepresented parties go to a conveyancer or a solicitor, they will be asked to sign a form authorising the conveyancer or a solicitor to transact and lodge the dealing on their behalf. The conveyancer or solicitor will be responsible in verifying the parties’ identities and right to deal over the property.
- A person who purchases a property for cash will not receive a Certificate of Title.
- Those who pay off their mortgage will not receive a Certificate of Title as was the case previously.
- When a plan of subdivision is registered, and new parcels of land created, Certificates of Title will no longer be issued for those parcels.
- In relation to Certificates of Title that have to date been kept in safekeeping by solicitors on behalf of their clients, as these Certificates of Title have now been cancelled, clients may wish to collect the Certificates of Title. It is not necessary to stamp the Certificate of Title as being “cancelled”.
- Lenders and financiers relying on retaining a Certificate of Title to secure an equitable interest in land in New South Wales should be aware of these changes as physical Certificates of Title are no longer considered relevant in New South Wales in protecting their interests.
Rationale for the changes
In summary, the above changes were brought in by the Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title Act) 2021 in an effort to:
- increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness of conveyancing;
- reduce errors and ensure a greater reliance on the security of the Torrens Register for property owners;
- reduce the prevalence of mistakes and errors that occur in paper lodgement.
What to do with your Certificate of Title currently with David Landa Stewart Lawyers
If you are content for us to retain your Certificate of Title, then you do not need to do anything at present.
You may however, approach us in due course as to what you intend to do with the Certificates of Title that we are currently storing on your behalf.