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What is a Certificate of Title and what is the importance of it?

The Importance of a Certificate of Title in Property Transactions

A Certificate of Title is a person’s official land ownership record and notes interests and rights affecting their land. The Certificate of Title is issued by the Registrar of Titles to the person who is entitled to it, either being:

  • The owner of the land, or otherwise known as the ‘registered proprietor’, if the property is unencumbered, which means there is no mortgage over the property; or
  • The registered proprietor’s mortgagee if there is a mortgage over the property.

Importance of Certificate of Title in Property Sales

The Certificate of Title is particularly important when one is looking at selling their property and does not have a mortgage over their property. Without this document, your conveyancer is unable to settle the matter for you.

Why? At the settlement of your matter, the Certificate of Title is required to be handed over to the purchaser’s conveyancer to enable them to provide the same to the Land Titles office to lodge with the Transfer document. The Transfer document is a document that replaces the current owners’ names over to the person who has purchased the property. Without the Certificate of Title, the Land Titles office is unable to lodge the Transfer and change their records of the new ownership.

Continuing Significance of Certificate of Titles in Electronic Settlements

As settlements are effected electronically via the PEXA platform as of 1 July 2019, this is not to mean that Certificate of Titles are any less important. Your conveyancer is required to hold the original Certificate of Title pending settlement, to enable them to enter the details from such document into the PEXA platform to be lodged to the Land Titles office electronically and is then legally required to hold your original Certificate of Title for a minimum of seven (7) years.

Safeguarding Your Certificate of Title

If you are looking to sell and you do not have a mortgage over your property, we recommend that you are aware of the whereabouts of your original Certificate of Title before proceeding with your sale. If you have misplaced your Certificate of Title, it is important to make your conveyancer aware of this straight away so they can arrange to apply for a replacement on your behalf, with sufficient time as we note this process can be lengthy.

If you have any further questions in this regard, please contact myself to discuss.



Christine is a licensed conveyancer and Justice of the Peace at Coutts’ Narellan office. She is highly efficient and is able to assist clients with matters concerning; the sale and purchase of residential and commercial property, retirement village contracts, put & call options and family transfers.

Christine communicates clearly with her clients, thoroughly walking them through every stage of the buying and selling process to ensure that their experience is as stress free as possible. She also makes a point of being available to her clients, when they need her, throughout the entirety of their matter.

For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:

Christine Johnsen
Licensed Conveyancer & JP
1300 268 887

Contact Campbelltown Lawyers today.

This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.

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