There have been some recent changes in the way the Titles Registry deals with paper certificates of title (paper CTs) in Queensland, which aims to streamline and facilitate electronic conveyancing.
In Queensland, recent changes in the Titles Registry have paved the way for a more streamlined and efficient process, centered around electronic conveyancing. At RCR Lawyers, we are committed to keeping you informed about these developments and guiding you through the ever-evolving landscape of property law.
UNDERSTANDING THE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
A Certificate of Title, often referred to as a paper Certificate of Title (paper CT) or title deed, is a physical document that serves as a record of property ownership and relevant details. Before 1994, every property in Queensland had a paper CT associated with it, and this certificate was a fundamental requirement for any property-related transaction, including sales, transfers, mortgages, and other dealings.
However, in 1994, the Titles Registry initiated a transition towards an electronic titles register. Since then, paper Certificates of Title have not been automatically issued for properties. Property owners had the option to request a paper CT from the Titles Registry, but this practice became increasingly rare. As a result, only around 11% of properties in Queensland still possess a paper CT.
One of the primary reasons for obtaining a paper Certificate of Title was to ensure that no further dealings with the property were allowed unless the paper CT was presented. It acted as a safeguard against unauthorized transactions, including title transfers, mortgage registrations, and leases. Additionally, paper CTs were sometimes used as collateral by lenders to secure loans or other financial arrangements.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
On March 29, 2019, the Land, Explosives, and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed in Parliament. This legislation introduced amendments to several Acts, including the Land Title Act 1994. The key change stipulated that, as of October 1, 2019, property owners would no longer be able to request a paper Certificate of Title from the Titles Registry, and paper CTs would cease to hold any legal significance.
Until October 1, 2019, the existing laws governing paper CTs remained in effect. This meant that any property transaction involving a Certificate of Title required the physical paper CT to be presented and deposited.
TAKING THE NEXT STEPS
If you possess a paper Certificate of Title, it’s essential to store it in a secure location until the changes take effect on October 1, 2019. After this date, paper CTs will retain sentimental value but will no longer be necessary for property transactions.
For those who are currently using a paper CT as a form of security, we recommend taking proactive steps to make alternative arrangements before the changes become effective. Our team at RCR Lawyers is here to assist you in reviewing and amending your existing finance agreements and seeking alternative security options, such as mortgages, security interests, and personal guarantees.
Embracing the digital transformation of property transactions is crucial in today’s fast-paced world. As the legal landscape evolves, we stand by your side to ensure that you are well-prepared for the changing requirements and can navigate the complexities of property law with confidence.
For personalized guidance and assistance with your property-related concerns, please reach out to us at our Brisbane office at (07) 3009 8444 or our Sydney office at (02) 9307 8900. Alternatively, you can contact us online through our website or by email at [email protected].
RCR Lawyers is dedicated to helping you make informed decisions and adapt to the evolving legal environment while preserving the value of your property assets.