In previous years, settlements used to require lawyers, their agents and banks to meet up in person to check and swap documents and bank cheques. The documents had to then be lodged with the Land Registry Office and government authorities had to be notified about the transaction.
The recently introduced e-conveyancing system means that all existing Certificate Titles (known as a CT) are no longer required and new owners no longer receive a paper title deed. The new process which usually takes place on the new e-platform known as PEXA ensures that conveyancing is completed with speed, efficiency and accuracy.
What is e-conveyancing?
E-Conveyancing provides an electronic online business environment for completing property transactions including electronic lodgement with Land Registries and the electronic settlement of payment of funds through the Reserve Bank of Australia. PEXA settlements can include:
- Lodgement the Land Title documents needed to register changes in property ownership and interests such as a Notice of Death, Transmission Application or even registration of Leases
- Allow Revenue NSW to receive stamp duty immediately, or pay off a mortgage.
- Transparency as to viewing and complete the documents online in order to progress and conclude the property exchange or transaction; and
- Allow for the electronic settlement of all financial transactions at a nominated date including settlement monies, duties, taxes and any other disbursements in real time – funds are usually deposited into bank accounts within half an hour of the transaction
What happens to Certificates of title?
Existing CTs will be cancelled and no longer issued. Existing CTs cannot be required to be produced to have a dealing or plan lodged for registration. You are now at liberty to destroy your original CT, or even frame it!
Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions, for example, banks, are no longer issued with CoRD, which is the electronic equivalent of a CT.
The Torrens Title Register has always been and continues to be the single source of truth as to the ownership of a person’s property and can be accessed at any time..
How are landowners impacted?
The 3 main changes from the previous practice for landowners includes:
- If you pay off tyour mortgage you will no longer receive a paper CT;
- Purchasers of property without the need for a mortgage (“cash-buyers”) will not receive a paper 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 of land.
As the abolition of CTs is only a new concept, we recommend you seek legal advice if you are unsure as to how this will affect you. In addition, the NSW Land Registry Office (NSW LRS) has helpful on-line video’s and information about the abolition of CTs.
What replaces CTs?
The Torrens Register will be considered the single source of truth as to a person’s interest or estate in land. All documents to be registered on the Torrens Register must be lodged by a subscriber, who is either a client’s lawyer or conveyancer. The person’s subscriber must verify the identity of their client and prove they have the right to deal with the land. Instead, lawyers can get an electronic title search showing the details for the Torrens Register, this costs approximately $28 to do a title search.
On 11 October 2021, Certificates of Title were completely abolished and are no longer required to be submitted in the e-conveyancing process and the New South Wales land titles system is now completely managed through e-conveyancing. This means the settlement process will become faster and more secure than the traditional paper one.
It is important to understand that CTs are no longer required to be submitted in the e-conveyancing process. The Torrens Register is the single source as to the ownership of a person’s interest or estate in land.
If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us on (02) 9918 0222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.