In brief - Developers in particular should be aware of changes 

Electronic certificates of title (eCT) are now becoming common in New South Wales as a means of dispensing with paper titles and the delays in registering documents pending the production of paper titles.

Land & Property Information changes to issuing paper certificates of titles under certain circumstances

From September 2017, there have been significant changes to the circumstances whereby, following registration of plans or dealings, Land & Property Information - NSW (LPI) will not issue paper titles.
An eCT will issue where there is a mortgagee on title who will remain on title following registration of a plan or paper-based transaction.
When an eCT has issued, LPI will indicate who holds the Control of Right to Deal (CoRD) over the title.
Where an eCT has issued and a sale is pending, the discharging mortgagee must lodge a CoRD Holder Consent with PEXA before settlement. This has to be lodged through PEXA and cannot be lodged direct at LPI.
Therefore, before settlement all parties should do the following:
  • Provide to the solicitor for the vendor details of all dealings which will be registered following settlement. This will involve not just the full names of the incoming purchasers and any mortgagee, but also details of any other transferees and their mortgagees where there has been an on sale.
  • All parties involved in the transaction should perform an LPI CT enquiry before settlement. This can be done online and without fee.
  • You must be very careful with the information that you give because once a CoRD Holder Consent has been lodged it cannot be amended and it must be replaced in PEXA. Also, it cannot be withdrawn electronically via PEXA and can only be withdrawn by way of physical manual request to LPI.
The mortgagee must also lodge a CoRD Holder Consent via PEXA for subsequent dealings with the title that it is to "retain" where an eCT has issued. This would include such things as consents to second mortgages, and consents to lodge for registration plans of subdivision, leases, easements and the like.

Prepare and plan for this latest electronic change for property legal industry

This is just another step in the electronic revolution sweeping the property legal industry in New South Wales. You need to be aware of this and plan for it, particularly if you are a developer with an upcoming subdivision registration where you have a mortgagee.

This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2024.

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