Goodbye paper trails: What the abolishment of Certificates of Title means for you

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The way land ownership is recorded in NSW is about to change. If you own a house, or are looking to buy one, this change could affect you.

Under the current system, once you buy a house, you’ll receive a paper document called a ‘Certificate of Title’ (CT) to prove the ownership of your property.

As a part of the Government’s plan to move away from paper-based systems, they recently announced the abolition of Certificates of Title. 

By 11 October 2021, the processing and lodgement of all NSW land transactions will be 100% electronic.

Why is the lodgement of land ownership changing?

The Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 makes several changes to legislation, with the most significant amendment being the abolition of CTs.

The new amendment means all land dealings from 11 October will be referred to as ‘100% eConveyancing’ and existing certificates will no longer be deemed legal documents.

According to NSW Registrar General, Jeremy Cox, an update of the 150-year-old system was well overdue.

“This is a big moment for all NSW landowners, as a more efficient and secure land title system will generate greater efficiencies in the property and financial sector and support NSW’s economy,” he said.

eConveyancing already accounts for 95% of conveyancing transactions being settled in NSW. In addition, the government are currently receiving around four and a half thousand applications for a replacement of their CT each year, costing the applicants $150 each.

What does this mean for landowners?

How safe is my information?

Let’s talk about the security of the new electronic lodgement system. 

The Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello reassured us that the eConveyancing system is one we can be confident in.

“eConveyancing is a secure system, with checks and balances to protect against fraud and abolishing CTs removes the administrative burden for people to manage and locate it in an environment where all transactions are done electronically,” he said.

What happens once CTs are cancelled?

You will NOT receive a CT if:

  • You’ve paid off your mortgage
  • If you’ve purchased a property without the need of a mortgage (i.e. you’re a cash buyer)
  • When you’ve registered a plan of subdivision or created new parcels of land

Because a CT will no longer be a legal document, the Torrens Title Register will be the single source of truth as to the ownership of a person’s home.

The Torrens Title Register is the primary register for land held in NSW. A Certificate of Title is the physical copy of the related Folio of the Torrens Title Register.

At Impero Conveyancing, we’re registered subscribers and we can help you with any administrative and legal questions you may have relating to this update. 

Call us on 4910 0522, we’d love to help you sort through this change and take away the legal strains home ownership can bring.

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