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On 11 October 2021, NSW will complete its transition to full electronic conveyancing. Two key changes will take effect from this date:

  • All existing paper Certificates of Title (CTs) will be cancelled with no new CTs being issued, and

  • Paper dealings will no longer be accepted by NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS).

NSW Office of the Registrar General has published an overview and implications of the changes—"Abolition of Certificates of Title”

If you currently hold a CT (i.e. you do not have a mortgage), you do not have to do anything in response to this change. Your CT will no longer be a legal document after 11 October 2021. However, it is recommended that you continue holding your CT; your CT may be relevant for administrative or other purposes.

If another party (other than a mortgagee) holds your CT on your behalf, you may wish to request it back or discuss with the holding party what you would like done with the CT.

If you have a mortgage, there is no change to your current arrangements. When the mortgage is paid off and you arrange the discharge with your bank, everything will proceed as normal except that you will no longer receive a paper CT.

There are steps you can take to protect your interest in the absence of paper CTs. In particular, as a landowner you can lodge a caveat against your property, which will notify you of any attempts to deal with the property.

When you wish to undertake any land dealing—such as lodge a caveat, sell your property, register or vary a lease or create an easement—lodgement with NSW LRS will now need to be done entirely online. As the services are limited to conveyancers and lawyers, this means you will require the assistance of a lawyer or conveyancer.

Sparke Helmore has been at the forefront of electronic conveyancing changes, having consulted to PEXA, NSW LRS and various third-party providers over the years. Our focus and support in the area of technological change in this area is a key driver in pushing these advancements and bringing the property sector into the 21st century.

Our experience and knowledge in these matters is well known and respected and we will continue to support our clients and the industry over the course of this transition.

If you have any questions or concerns, and would like to speak to a member of Sparke Helmore’s Property Team about the changes, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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