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Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Certificates of Title issued as a piece of paper are a thing of the past due to changes to the Real Property Act 1900 in NSW. For some of our clients, the movement toward digital records has made them feel a little nervous, however in practice, the impacts on the property owner are very minor.

In a nutshell, the movement toward digital property ownership records is focused on making property ownership and the transfer of property easier for all parties involved.

When and why did this happen?

The introduction of the Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 came into effect on 11 October 2021 and created multiple changes to the legislation, with the primary one being the abolishment of Certificates of Title in order to move towards the mandated 100% electronic conveyancing.

But how do these changes affect landowners?

This change does not affect your ownership of your land, it just means that the physical certificate that is distributed when a property changes ownership no longer has the significance it once did. While it is still something you may wish to keep for your records or as a keepsake, it holds no value as a legal document. If you have been storing your certificate of title with your law firm for safekeeping, you may consider contacting them to have it released to you as it will no longer be required for any legal dealings.

But how will I prove ownership of land without a certificate?

Where once you received a physical, paper certificate of title as proof of ownership of land, you will now receive an Information Notice of Registration – or if you have a mortgage on the property, your bank will receive this notice and then relay it to you once you have paid and discharged the mortgage held on your land.

This means that if you approach a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to assist with the sale of your land, they will no longer require a copy of your certificate of title as proof of ownership but will instead rely solely on a title search, which is done through their electronic programs.

So it’s out with the old and in with the new?

Moving forward, land dealings will no longer be permitted to be lodged via the old paper method. All land dealings with the Land Registry Services must be lodged electronically by a professional that subscribes to an Electronic Lodgment Network.

It is important to note that your position as a landowner (or potential landowner) is not at risk as a result of these changes and that this move to electronic conveyancing is to streamline the whole process, allowing professionals to assist their clients in a straightforward and timely manner.

Contact our firm to see how we can help you with your conveyancing needs today!

Gunnedah & Newcastle in office, and visits are available in Muswellbrook, Singleton, Scone, Murrurundi, and Tamworth.



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