Paper certificates of title redundant
On 26 March 2019 the Queensland Parliament passed the Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (Amending Act). The Amending Act introduces significant amendments to the Land Title Act 1994 (Qld) (LT Act) which sees paper certificates of title becoming redundant as part of the push towards a completely electronic conveyancing system in Queensland.
The practical effect of these amendments is that as of 1 October 2019, the Registrar will not be able to issue paper certificates. There will also no longer be a requirement to lodge existing certificates in the Titles Office for future dealings with the land to which they relate. As a result, paper certificates will not provide evidence of an owner’s indefeasible title over property, and there will be no requirement to deliver paper certificates of title at settlement.
A raft of amendments will be made to the LT Act to give effect to the Amending Act. Although many of those changes only reflect the removal of references to certificates of title as contained in the LT Act, some of the more substantive changes include:
The amendments also have ramifications for the creation of equitable mortgages over property. Currently, section 75 of the LT Act states that an equitable mortgage can be created by leaving a paper certificate with the mortgagee. Under the amendments, that will no longer be possible from 1 October 2019.
However, the omission of section 75 does not alter rights or obligations arising under an existing equitable mortgage created prior to 1 October 2019. A mortgagee wanting to enforce their security under an existing equitable mortgage arising pursuant to section 75 will still be required to prove that the equitable mortgage was created by the provision of a certificate of title. Furthermore, such an equitable mortgagee will still be required to enforce their security through an order of the Court.
If you would like to discuss any aspects of changes to the LT Act, please contact HopgoodGanim Lawyers’ Property team.