April 11, 2019

Property

A Certificate of Title provides written evidence of your right to ownership of a property. These days, most owners don’t have a paper Certificate of Title for their land or property, but if you do have one, you’ll want to read on.

What’s the change?

In late March, the Queensland Government passed an amendment to the Land Title Act 1994 (Qld) which changes how they are currently used. From 1 October 2019, property owners will not be able to request a paper Certificate of Title from the Queensland Land Titles Registry (Registry). Instead, the Registry’s electronic title will be the sole point of reference of ownership and interests affecting land in Queensland.

What if I already have a physical Certificate of Title?

If you do own a physical Certificate of Title for a property, we recommend that you store this safely until the changes take place on 1 October 2019. After this date, the certificate will have no legal significance and will essentially only hold sentimental value.

How does this affect me?

In the past, the physical Certificate of Title would have to be presented to effect dealing over a property. This will no longer be required as the record will electronically be stored and managed by the Registry.

A physical Certificate of Title could also be used as a form of security under a financing agreement. Because the physical document will no longer be required by the Registry to affect a change on title, a Certificate of Title will not be sufficient to secure repayment under the relevant loan or facility.

What next?

If you are using a Certificate of Title as a measure of security, it’s important to make other arrangements before these changes come into effect. Our team at McInnes Wilson Lawyers can assist you by:

1. reviewing and amending those financing arrangements where a Certificate of Title has been given as a form security for repayment; and

2. documenting the terms of alternative security options such as mortgages, security interests and/or personal guarantees.

If you would like legal advice taking your personal situation into consideration, or if you want to learn more about the options available to you, contact us today.