Abolition of Certificates of Title

News 4

Changes to the land title system

On 11 October 2021, new changes to the land titles system in NSW will be introduced that will transition NSW away from paper-based processes.

The Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 makes several changes to legislation, importantly allowing for the cancellation of certificates of title (CTs) and progressing NSW to 100% electronic lodgment of land transactions.

There are two significant changes from 11 October 2021:

  • the cancellation of CTs and the control of the right to deal (CoRD) framework; and
  • all land dealings must be lodged electronically. This is referred to as ‘100% eConveyancing’.

Key changes from 11 October 2021

Certificates of title

Existing CTs will be cancelled and CTs will no longer be issued. Existing CTs cannot be required to be produced to have a dealing or plan lodged for registration.

Similarly, Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions, such as banks, will no longer be issued with CoRD, which is the electronic equivalent of a CT.

The Torrens Title Register has always been and will continue to be the single source of truth as to the ownership of a person’s home.

100% eConveyancing

The Registrar General has declared under the NSW Conveyancing Rules that all electronic dealings listed in the Schedule of eDealings are mandated to be lodged electronically.

The list of dealings in the Schedule of eDealings accounts for 99% of all land transactions lodged with NSW Land Registry Services (LRS) and are all available for use now. The remaining 1% of transactions are dealt with a slightly different process, which is explained in out-of-scope transactions below.

Lodging land dealings in paper will not be permitted from 11 October 2021. All land dealings to be lodged with NSW LRS can only be done electronically by a subscriber (e.g. a lawyer, licensed conveyancer, or bank) to an Electronic Lodgment Network.

Amendments to the NSW Conveyancing Rules will be made to repeal those parts which refer to a paper process. The current Conveyancing Rules waivers will also be revoked as they will no longer apply from 11 October 2021.

The Lodgment Rules will specify when out-of-scope electronic dealings can depart from the usual manner of preparing an electronic dealing.

Next steps

From now until 11 October 2021, there will be a number of changes made to remove the paper process from the rules and legislation. The following will be made with an estimated timeline:

  • Update to Conveyancing Rules – mid July
  • Proclamation of Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 – end of July
  • Revocation of Conveyancing Rules waivers – end of August
  • Update to Lodgment Rules – end of August

We will continue working with stakeholders to ensure the cancellation of CTs and the transition to 100% eConveyancing is seamless.