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The end to Certificates of Title in NSW

Banking & Finance, Property & Development
Sydney aerial property
The last few years have seen New South Wales (NSW) move from a paper based conveyancing system to one of e-conveyancing and one of the last cornerstones of the paper system, the Certificate of Title, is about to be abolished.

From 11 October 2021, paper Certificates of Titles in NSW will cease to have legal effect as they currently do, and all dealings in land will need to be electronically lodged.

This change only applies to NSW. Other jurisdictions are not affected by this change.

How will this affect my ownership and ability to deal with my property?

Other than process, nothing will change. The Torrens Title Register (as held by NSW Land Registry Services) has always been, and will remain, the single record of ownership of land in NSW. The abolition of Certificates of Title will further streamline the conveyancing process and a person (including a mortgagee) will no longer be required to produce a certificate of title or make available a CoRD (control of the right to deal) consent when dealing with land, or receive a paper Certificate of Title when a mortgage is discharged, land is subdivided or when registering any other dealing. Instead from 11 October 2021, NSW Land Registry Services will issue an information notice confirming the registration of a dealing that is lodged. This information notice will be sent to the lawyer, conveyancer or bank who lodged the dealing.

Parties to any land transactions will need to engage lawyers, licensed conveyancers or banks to register any such dealings in land (as registered subscribers to the electronic lodgement platforms).

What do I have to do?

There is nothing that an owner of land or a mortgagee needs to do. The change is automatic and from 11 October 2021 all Certificates of Title for NSW land will be void and of no legal effect.

If you currently hold a Certificate of Title you are not required to return this to the Land Registry and you can retain it as a memento or destroy it if you prefer. If your property is mortgaged and you wish to have your Certificate of Title returned to you after 11 October we advise that you contact your mortgagee as soon as possible with this request.

ABL intends to return all paper Certificates of Title that it holds to its clients once COVID restrictions ease and we are physically back in the office and able to undertake this exercise.

If you are holding a Certificate of Title without the registration of a mortgage on title as security for payment of a debt by the landowner you should urgently make alternate arrangements to secure that debt. The voiding of Certificates of Title means that securing of debt merely by deposit of the Certificate of Title will no longer be effective from 11 October 2021.

Please note the above does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of the subject matter nor a consideration of associated issues that may arise in connection with this. This is intended for general information purposes only and if you require specific legal advice in relation to the above please contact us.

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