On 11 October 2021, new changes to the land titles system in NSW were introduced that transitioned NSW away from paper-based processes.
The Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 made several changes to legislation, importantly allowing for the cancellation of certificates of title (CTs) and progressing NSW to 100% electronic lodgment of land transactions.
There are two significant changes:
- the cancellation of CTs and the control of the right to deal (CoRD) framework; and
- all land dealings must be lodged electronically. This is referred to as ‘100% eConveyancing’.
- Existing CTs were cancelled and CTs will no longer be issued. Existing CTs cannot be required to be produced to have a dealing or plan lodged for registration.
- Similarly, Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions, such as banks, will no longer be issued with CoRD, which is the electronic equivalent of a CT.
- The Torrens Title Register has always been and will continue to be the single source of truth as to the ownership of a person’s home. The Torrens Title Register is securely stored and backed up by both NSW Land Registry Services and the Office of the Registrar General.
- There are three 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 (aka “cash-buyer”) will not receive a CT.
- When a plan of subdivision is registered, and new parcels of land created, CTs (or CoRD) 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.
Landowners of unencumbered land (i.e. no mortgage) who have a CT don’t have to do anything after 11 October 2021. After this date, the CT will no longer be a legal document.
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.
- The Registrar General has declared under the NSW Conveyancing Rules that all electronic dealings listed in the Schedule of dealings are mandated to be lodged electronically.
- The list of dealings in the Schedule of eDealings accounts for 99% of all land transactions lodged with NSW Land Registry Services (LRS) and are all available for use now. The remaining 1% of transactions are dealt with a slightly different process, which is explained in out-of-scope transactions below.
- Lodging land dealings in paper will not be permitted from 11 October 2021. All land dealings to be lodged with NSW LRS can only be done electronically by a subscriber (e.g. a lawyer, licensed conveyancer, or bank) to an Electronic Lodgment Network.
- Amendments to the NSW Conveyancing Rules will be made to repeal those parts which refer to a paper process. The current Conveyancing Rules waivers will also be revoked as they will no longer apply from 11 October 2021.
- The Lodgment Rules will specify when out-of-scope electronic dealings can depart from the usual manner of preparing an electronic dealing.
Do you have questions?
If we are currently working with you you should have a clear understanding of these changes. If you have any questions or will be needing conveyancing in the future, please get in touch.