A certificate of title is your record of interest and rights over a piece of land and outlines specific information.
Since late 2016, certificates of title became electronic. However, if you have not purchased, sold or transferred your property since 2016, you are likely to have a paper title.
When dealing with property in Victoria (eg transferring, subdividing or consolidating titles), the certificate of title (or control of the electronic title) needs to be produced to Land Use Victoria. It is not uncommon for paper certificates of title become lost or misplaced. Accordingly, this can cause significant delays or even prevent land dealings from being lodged in relation to the missing or misplaced title.
This can be overcome by making application to Land Use Victoria for a replacement certificate of title. Our lawyers have considerable experience from the simplest of applications to complex applications involving estates and vesting orders.
Can I do the application myself?
An application for a replacement certificate of title involves preparing and swearing of a series of statutory declarations. Accordingly, it is important to seek the advices of a lawyer to ensure that the statutory declarations are prepared and executed in a legal manner.
How do I know if I have a paper title or electronic title?
A register search statement will show you whom has control of the electronic certificate of title. A register search statement for a Paper title will not show this information. A lawyer can assist you with obtaining a register search statement.
How do I know whether my bank still has my certificate of title?
A lawyer can assist you with tracking down the location of a missing certificate of title. Usually, when a mortgage is discharged, the title is released from the bank. However, in some instances the bank will retain the certificate of title unless you apply to have it released. A lawyer can help you compete an ‘issue search’ which shows who the certificate of title was last issued to by Land Use Victoria.
How long does the application take to prepare?
Applications for a replacement certificate of title can take a significant amount of time, depending on the circumstances of each individual case. In some instances, it is necessary to obtain a letter from any banks that have held mortgages over the property confirming that they no longer retain the original certificate of title. A lawyer can assist you with determining what evidence is required to be provided to the office of land titles as well as drafting any necessary requests to banks or financial institutions. In addition to the above, a series of statutory declarations need to be sworn and executed. Accordingly, the application process can take anywhere from 3-4 days to 3-4 months, or even longer in some instances.