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So Long to Paper Certificates of Title

In all likelihood, gone will be the days of having a paper certificate of title for real estate, also known as a CT. The NSW Government recently introduced the Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Bill NSW 2021. The Bill serves to implement the final phase of transition to a fully electronic conveyancing system through the cancellation of all paper CTs, electronic CTs and CoRD consents (the electronic equivalent of making a CT available) within New South Wales by mid-2021.

The Bill aims to move New South Wales away from redundant paper processes and to embrace a digital land titling system. The proposal will also further align NSW with other Australian jurisdictions such as South Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.

Phase 1 of the digital movement was completed on 1 October 2018 when all paper CTs held by Banks were converted into electronic CTs. The Bill will initiate phase 2 of this process by requiring other documents such as powers of attorney and deeds to be lodged electronically.

Any associated processes in regard to the production of CTs to enable land dealings will also be removed. As a result, CTs will cease to be an instrument under law and will no longer be evidence of ownership of land. The right to deal with land, previously evidenced by the CT, will become redundant. However a borrower’s responsibility to obtain lender consent to deal with property remains unchanged.

Holders of paper CTs are under no obligation to hand in or destroy their CT but may choose to retain it for sentimental value. In lieu of receiving a CT, the owner of property or where finance has been obtained, the relevant bank, will receive an ‘information notice’. The Registrar General has advised there will be a detailed communication strategy to inform the public of the cancellation of CTs.

Paper conveyancing processes have existed for over 150 years. There is no doubt that this particular Bill, if passed, will give a much needed shake up to the land titles system within NSW and with it, pave the way for more efficient and seamless transactions to occur.

Henry William Lawyers can assist with any related enquires. Feel free to contact our people:

Ron Zucker 0410 590 111

Steve Williams 0404 821 464

Vincent Tripodina 0408 228 108

Chelsea Woodward 0404 065 899

Anna Polhill 0431 174 352


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