What is a Certificate of Title or eCT?
If you are a home owner, your Certificate of Title (land title deed) is an instrument executed by the Registrar General at the Land Registry Services, and is evidence of your ownership of your property. In 2018, all paper Certificates of Title held by the banks were converted to electronic certificates of title called eCT’s.
Where is the Certificate of Title normally kept?
If your property is mortgaged, your eCT is held by the mortgagee – the person or entity who lent the money to you, for example the Bank.
If you do not have a mortgage, your paper Certificate of Title should be kept in a safe place, for example:
• With your solicitor
• In a safe deposit with the Bank
• In a safe place with your other personal papers
What happens if a Certificate of Title is destroyed or misplaced?
If a Certificate of Title is destroyed or misplaced a new Certificate of Title may be obtained from the Land Registry Services. In order to obtain this new document, you must meet the requirements of the Land Registry Services which include:
• Completion of an Application form
• Documents proving your identity
• Documents proving your ownership of the land
In the recent case of Chandra & Anor V. Perpetual Trustees Victoria Ltd & Ors, a false application was made for a new Certificate of Title, and as a result the property was able to be mortgaged without the homeowners consent.
Some steps to prevent identity fraud
• Always keep your personal documents in a safe place
• Never sign a document you are unsure of
• Never divulge your passwords or PIN numbers to anyone
• Lock your mailbox or obtain a Post Office box
• Only provide personal information if it is necessary
If your property is not mortgaged, keep your paper Certificate of Title in a safe and secure place.
At Everingham Solomons, we have the expertise to assist you with all legal matters regarding your home, because Helping You is Our Business.
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