Title reform – involving the cancellation of certificates of title and other changes to the NSW land titles system – commenced on 11 October 2021. Certificates of title are abolished and the Torrens Register is the single source of truth as to a person’s interest or estate in land. All documents to be registered on the Torrens Register must be lodged by a subscriber, who must verify the identity of the client and establish that they have the right to deal with the land.
These significant changes were introduced in part by the Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021. The Act provides for the cancellation of certificates of title (CTs) and progression towards 100% electronic lodgment of land transactions.
Title reform – Cancellation of certificates of title
From 11 October 2021:
- All certificates of title have been cancelled and will no longer be issued.
- Existing CTs cannot be required to be produced to have a dealing or plan lodged for registration.
- Practitioners no longer need to obtain a copy of the CT from their client for a property dealing.
- Banks are no longer issued with ‘control of the right to deal’ (CoRD) and all recordings relating to CoRD holders have been removed from the Register.
- Banks can no longer be asked to provide CoRD holder consent in a workspace when a mortgagor wants to lodge a dealing for registration, including a subsequent mortgage.
- Mortgagee consent still needs to be obtained for the registration of certain dealings.
- Subscribers are no longer requested to enter the CAC (Certificate Authentication Code) details taken from a CT for consent purposes in the workspace. The concept of the CAC is redundant and is no longer required to be kept securely.
- Where a subscriber has relied on a CT to establish a right to deal in a transaction conducted before 11 October 2021, the CT or a copy of it must be retained, in line with the requirements for retaining supporting evidence in the NSW Participation Rules.
- Otherwise, firms holding CTs in safe custody after commencement of this title reform have the following options:
- seek instructions from each client on what to do with their CT;
- return all CTs to clients;
- take a ‘do nothing’ approach.
It is not necessary for firms to stamp a CT as cancelled or mark it in any way if returning it to their client.
From 11 October 2021, in all instances of property ownership, an Information Notice will issue. Details on this notice will include the folio identifier, the dealings registered including registration numbers, the subscriber’s reference and the date of registration. As an Information Notice is not a definitive statement of the state of the Register, a title search will be necessary to acquire accurate title information.
All land dealings must be lodged electronically
From 11 October 2021:
- Lodging land dealings in paper is no longer permitted. All land dealings are to be lodged with NSW Land Registry Services electronically by a subscriber to an Electronic Lodgment Network such as Sympli or PEXA.
- The Lodgment Rules specify when out-of-scope electronic dealings can depart from the usual manner of preparing an electronic dealing.
- Paper dealing prepared before 11 October 2021 can still be lodged with NSW Land Registry Services electronically. They are uploaded as a PDF attachment to the electronic dealing known as ‘Dealing with Exception’. Once lodged, NSW Land Registry Services will examine the paper dealing.
All By Lawyers NSW Conveyancing & Property publications have been updated to reflect these changes.