Paper Certificates of Title No Longer Issued

03-12-2021    |    Resource   |   Brent Jones

New South Wales is moving towards a paperless system of electronic conveyancing for all property transactions. 

As part of this move, paper-based Certificates of Title will no longer be required to prove ownership of property in NSW.   Whilst this will not affect property owners, it does mean that if you are looking to buy or sell property from now on, you will need a property lawyer or conveyancer that is familiar with electronic conveyancing to conduct all the relevant searches and registrations on your behalf. 


What is a Certificate of Title?

In the past, a Certificate of Title has been necessary to prove ownership of land or property. The Certificate itself was a paper copy of the related folio on the Torrens Land Title Register, showing all the particulars of the property in question, including the official record of land ownership and whether there was a mortgage registered.

Whenever a property was sold the solicitor or conveyancer acting for the purchaser would request a copy of the Certificate of Title to prove that the vendor had to the right to sell the property and that it was a legitimate sale.


What will happen from now on?

From 11 October 2021, no paper Certificates of Title have been issued in NSW.  Instead, all titles have been converted to electronic Certificates of Title (eCT).

An eCT is an electronic record of the land ownership that will typically be issued to a mortgagee (eg. a bank or financial institution) when a mortgage is registered on the Torrens Land Title Register.

Your lawyer or conveyancer can also obtain a copy of the eCT for your property.

Proof of ownership and other interests in property will continue to be held in the Torrens Register, and solicitors or conveyancers must verify the identity of their client and confirm their client’s right to deal with the land through the Torrens Register when acting in the sale of a property.  It will no longer be a requirement for you to produce a paper Certificate of Title.


What do you need to do now?

Property owners do not need to take any action as a result of this move to electronic conveyancing:

  1. If you are looking to sell or purchase a property, the Lamrocks property team will verify any details required to complete the transaction and obtain all the necessary proof of ownership on your behalf.
  1. If you already own a property outright and Lamrocks is holding your paper Certificate of Title in safe custody, we will continue to hold onto your Certificate until (a) you ask us to send you the document, or (b) you ask us to destroy the document.
  1. If you have a mortgage on a property and the Certificate of Title is being held by your bank or lending institution, you do not have to do anything further as the document will no longer be relevant. However, if you have any questions regarding the Certificate, you should contact your bank.

To speak to a lawyer about selling or purchasing property, a refinance or transfer of title, contact our experienced property team on 02 4731 5688.

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