The Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 will see the end to paper-based Certificates of Title (CTs) and a mandated eConveyancing lodgement process in New South Wales from Monday 11 October.
What will change?
In truth, approximately 98% of land dealing transactions have been paperless for a while. Since 2017 the NSW Government has progressively transitioned certain classes of dealings to electronic lodgement. From Monday 11 October 2021:
- Certificates of Title will be no longer considered a legal document
- Control of the Right to Deal (CoRD) consent framework will be abolished after a period of 3 months so as not to interfere with existing transactions. Types of transactions might include:
- Transacting party consent – used by a participant in a transaction, such as a discharging mortgagee, or an incoming mortgagee for an unencumbered land title.
- Third party consent – used by a CoRD holder that is not a transacting party, such as a first mortgagee consenting to a second mortgage to a different mortgagee.
- Conversion to No CT – used by an eligible mortgagee to convert a CT to electronic Certificate of Title (eCT) without a transaction.
- Note this does NOT INCLUDE mortgagee consent of lease terms which are required to be provided in a a separate written letter attached to the lease and recorded on the Register.
- All dealings lodged at NSWLRS must come through a representative subscriber to an Electronic Lodgement Network Operator (ELNO)
- Paper dealings will no longer be accepted for lodgement
Without a Certificate of Title, how do I prove ownership?
Since its inception and subsequent introduction to NSW law, he Torrens Title Register has been the single source of truth as to the ownership of a person’s home. A title search of the property is the official means to establish the ownership of, or interest in property in NSW.
How do I lodge dealings after October 11?
A licenced conveyancer or lawyer will need to prepare and lodge dealings on your behalf in conjunction with an ELNO or e-lodgement agent such as PEXA or Sympli and who will verify identity, establish right to deal and enter into a properly completed client authorisation.
What to do if you have lodgements pending on October 11
Dealings that are lodged with the Registrar-General before October 11, but not yet registered, and at the time of lodgement required a CT for registration cessation day will be processed according to pre-October 11 requirements. Any withdrawals or re-lodgements of the same dealings post October 11 will be dealt with according to the legislation amendments.
It is recommended if you have paper dealings that are already signed by the parties, such as discharge of mortgages, etc, these should be lodged before 7 October 2021. After this date they will have to follow a Dealing with Exception process requiring additional paperwork be attached to your lodgement.
Transactions that are due to settle before 11 October 2021 still need to follow the current rules.
What do I do with any existing CTs?
If you are in possession of Certificates of Title, these may be retained if you wish however ownership can only be confirmed via a title search. If a CT establishes your right to deal then a copy of it must be retained for a period of seven years in accordance with the Act Participation Rules.
These changes represent the final reforms for the NSW land titles system in its transition to a 100% electronic system deemed to be faster and more secure than traditional paper processes.
The NSW Land Registry Services website has additional information about how to navigate the new land registration processes. Alternatively, contact our property team for advice specific to your situation.