Abolition of Certificates of Title
From 11 October 2021, changes to the land titles system in NSW will apply as part of the transition away from paper-based processes.
The Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 makes 2 significant changes with effect from that date:
- the cancellation of Certificates of Title (CT) for real property and the control of the right to deal (CoRD) framework – the CoRD being the electronic equivalent of a CT; and
- all land dealings must be lodged electronically – referred to as ‘100% eConveyancing’.
Accordingly, on 11 October 2021, all existing CTs will be cancelled and new CTs will no longer be issued. From then on, existing CTs cannot be required to be produced to have a dealing or plan lodged for registration at NSW Land Registry Services (NSWLRS, formerly NSW Land & Property Information and the Land Titles Office).
What does this mean for you?
There are 3 main changes from the current practice for landowners:
- those who pay off their mortgage will not receive a CT as was traditionally the case.
- a purchaser of property without the need for a mortgage will not receive a CT.
- when a plan of subdivision is registered, and new parcels of land created, CTs (or CoRDs) will no longer be issued for those parcels.
In all instances, an “Information Notice” will issue, which will confirm the dealings registered and date of registration.
Abolition of Certificates of Title
Landowners of unencumbered land (that is with no mortgage) who have a CT don’t have to do anything either before or after 11 October 2021. After this date however, the CT will no longer be a legal document (and thus will have no legal effect), although you may like to keep it for sentimental reasons (although the current CTs aren’t anywhere near as impressive looking as the old system ones).
Note that just because you have paid of your mortgage, it may still be registered no title – it must be formally discharged. If you want the CT, you ought to act quickly to have it discharged and the new CT issued prior to 11 October 2021 as you will not get one after that date.
Those who own unencumbered land, but have someone else holding or storing their CT, may wish to request to have it back. From 11 October 2021 there will no longer be a remedy under the Real Property Act 1900 to get a CT back from others, given it has no legal effect.
Lenders holding CTs
If you hold a CT in as informal security for an unregistered mortgage or charge over a property following an advance of money or provision of goods or services, you should take steps to protect your interests before 11 October 2021 as when CTs are cancelled, this method of securing payment will no longer be available or effective.
From 11 October 2021 lawyers and licensed conveyancers no longer need to ask for a copy of their CT when acting on a sale or when lodging a dealing for registration.
The Registrar General has declared under the NSW Conveyancing Rules that all electronic dealings listed in the Schedule of eDealings are mandated to be lodged electronically.
All land dealings to be lodged with NSWLRS can only be done electronically by a subscriber (e.g. a lawyer, licensed conveyancer or bank) to an Electronic Lodgment Network.
For further information, please contact McKillop Legal on (02) 9521 2455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This information is general only and is not a substitute for proper legal advice. Please contact McKillop Legal to discuss your needs.