In March 2019 the Queensland Government passed legislation amending the Land Title Act 1994 (Qld) to make paper certificates of title redundant. This is part of a push towards a totally paperless titling system and the (not so recent) introduction and increased use of electronic conveyancing in Queensland.
From 1 October 2019, the Registrar will no longer require paper certificates of title to be produced when lodging documents with the Titles Office nor will they issue certificates of title to landowners. The effect of this is that paper certificates of titles will no longer be evidence of an owner’s indefeasible title or be required when transacting land.
Whilst there are a whole host of minor legislative changes made in a number of statutes to give effect to this change, the most significant issue to arise from this change relates to equitable mortgages.
Section 75 of the Land Title Act provides that an equitable mortgage can be created by leaving a paper certificate of title with the mortgagee. From 1 October 2019, this will no longer be the case although equitable mortgages created prior to 1 October 2019 under section 75 will not be altered.
So whilst this is a largely procedural change, there will be some practical effects for those mortgagees that have been relying on paper certificates of title as good security.