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Do I Need my Title Deed?

Title Deeds QLD - Do I Need My Title Deed?

In October 2019, radical changes were made to Queensland laws about title deeds and their use as security. Here’s what you need to know about title deeds QLD:

Historical Perspective

Before the Land Title Act 1994 came into effect in Queensland, each freehold lot had a physical certificate of title. The location of this certificate was crucial because handing it over could indicate it was used as security for a loan. This informal arrangement, known as an equitable mortgage, relied on the parties’ conduct rather than a written mortgage document.

Traditional Practice

In earlier times, giving a mortgage often meant transferring property ownership to the mortgagee. Possession of the title deed played a pivotal role in these transactions.

Stay informed as we delve deeper into how these changes impact property transactions in Queensland.

Understanding Title Deeds QLD: A Shift in Security and Transactions

Title Deeds QLD

With the introduction of the Land Title Act in 1994, Queensland embraced electronic titles, marking a significant departure from traditional paper deeds. Initially met with skepticism among lawyer, these changes eventually gained acceptance. Previously, all dealings with the title were shown on the title deed itself, and possession of the deed was critical, as no dealings could be registered without it.

Under the new regime, starting with the Land Title Act, physical title deeds were only issued upon request, while transaction records were maintained electronically. Despite this shift, many preferred having a hard copy of their title deed. The people who could get it were mortgage holders (who wanted it to make sure no changes could happen without them knowing) and property owners. 

Over time, fewer people got physical copies of these documents. By 2019, it was rare to see one issued. However, on October 1, 2019, amendments to the Land Title Act rendered physical certificates of title legally ineffective. This means that transactions on a property can proceed without physically returning the title deed to the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

Impact of the Changes in Title Deeds QLD

  • Security Shift: Mortgagees no longer gain added security from holding a physical certificate of title.
  • Equitable Mortgages: Using a certificate of title as security for an equitable mortgage is now ineffective.
  • Fraud Protection: Holding a physical certificate of title offers no protection against fraudulent activities.

What You Need to Know

These changes should not have any adverse effect on most people.  People holding title deeds as security however will essentially lose the benefit of that security, and it will be more important to lodge formal securities such as a mortgage. If you’re concerned about property dealings or securing your position as a creditor, it’s advisable to seek legal advice promptly.

For personalized guidance on navigating these changes in Title Deeds QLD, contact:

Peter Muller at peterm@qbmlaw.com.au 

Sally Chipman at sallyc@qbmlaw.com.au

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