Certificates of Title – Soon to be Fully Phased Out
A highly anticipated change to the way property transactions are handled will come into effect from 1 October, 2019. In a recent Bill passed through Parliament
it was decided that Certificates of Title (also sometimes referred to as Title Deeds) will no longer have any legal effect. This exciting change to
how property transactions are handled is the next natural progression in keeping up with modern times.
A Certificate of Title is a paper record which shows the current ownership of a property. For the past 25 years Queensland has successfully utilised an
electronic system for handling the titles to property. When you wish to deal with your property (such as selling it to another person), if a physical
Certificate of Title has been issued, you will be required to produce and hand over this document in order for the transaction to be registered.
Since converting to the electronic system in 1994, the Titles Office stopped automatically issuing Certificates of Title, only providing them when specifically
requested. The Titles Office also began dispensing with old Certificates of Title, when a dealing is lodged for registration, for example when it is
being transferred to a new owner, the titles office would destroy the old Certificate of Title and not issue a new one. Due to this gradual phasing
out of Certificates of Title only about 11% of properties in Queensland currently have a Certificate of Title.
While old certificates can still be held for historical or sentimental value, the advantage of moving to a fully electronic system means that as an owner
you will no longer need to worry about losing such an important document. At the moment if your Certificate of Title was lost, stolen or accidentally
destroyed you would need to first have the Certificate of Title cancelled in order to be able to sell or otherwise register any dealings over your
property. The cancellation of a missing Certificate of Title is quite a lengthy process involving declarations, enquiries, advertising and costs. From
1 October, 2019 all currently existing Certificates of Title will be automatically dispensed with becoming sentimental pieces of paper that will no
longer need to be lodged when selling a property. The stress of losing a Certificate of Title will soon become a thing of the past.