The Abolishment of Certificates of Title

November 11, 2021



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On 11 October 2021, the NSW land titles system formally transitioned away from paper-based processes. The new changes allow for 100% electronic lodgement of land transactions from start to finish. Over the last 10 years land dealings have increasingly been lodged electronically – the total elimination of paper from the transaction process means increased security and efficiency in property dealings.

Implications for Landowners

All existing Certificates of Title have been cancelled, meaning they have ceased to have legal effect. A Certificate of Title will not be issued to new property owners upon completion of a purchase. There cannot be any requirement to produce a Certificate of Title (CT) in order to have a dealing or plan lodged for registration. Furthermore, Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions, such as banks, will no longer be issued with CoRD (Control of Right to Deal). 

These amendments make no change to the Torrens Title system of registration, whereby the Torrens Title Register always has been and will continue to be the single accurate and absolute record of property ownership. The register is stored securely and backed up by the NSW Land Registry Services and the Office of the Registrar General. 

If you have questions about how to prove ownership of a property, please call our office today and ask to speak with our property conveyancing team (02 8226 5520).

The new amending laws have three main practical implications for existing landowners:

  1. Those who pay off their mortgage will no longer receive a CT after discharge;
  2. Those who purchase a property without the need for a mortgage (a “cash-buyer”) will no longer receive a CT; and
  3. CTs or CoRDs will no longer be issued when a plan of subdivision is registered, and new parcels of land are created.

From 11 October 2021, for all settlements a dated Information Notice will be issued, confirming the details of the registration. Landowners of unencumbered land (land with no mortgage or caveat) who have a CT are not required to do anything with their CTs. If you hold a CT, it can be destroyed or framed. 

All documents to be registered on the Torrens Register must be lodged by a subscriber, who must verify the identity of their client and establish that they have the right to deal with the land. The property conveyancing and land law specialists at Carneys Lawyers represent clients to prepare and lodge all manner of property dealings.