Office Circular No. 4/2021
Office Circular No. 4/2021
DATE: 21 DECEMBER 2021
CIRCULAR MEMORANDUM: 4/2021
SUBJECT: COMMENCEMENT OF LAND (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) ACT 2021
The Land (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2021 (“the Amendment Act”) received Royal Assent on 29 November 2021.
The Governor has proclaimed that the provisions of the Amendment Act will commence on 1 January 2022.
The Amendment Act makes various changes to improve existing land related legislation, including the Land Titles Act 1980 (“the LTA”), the Land Titles Regulations 2012 (“the Regulations”), the Land Acquisition Act 1993 and the Nature Conservation Act 2002.
While the majority of the amendments are principally to the LTA and the Regulations, both of which are administered by the Recorder of Titles, minor consequential amendments are also made to other land related legislation which relate to the powers and functions of the Recorder of Titles.
Importantly, the Amendment Act contains two significant amendments to the LTA and the Regulations which will affect practice in the Land Titles Office and to which your immediate attention is drawn:
- Amendment to section 63 of the LTA regarding severance of joint tenancies to make it clear that when a joint tenancy between more than two owners is severed by one owner, that it does not, by default, sever the entire joint tenancy between the remaining owners;
- Amendment to section 52 of the LTA and addition of new Regulation 18A to the Land Titles Regulations 2012 to:
- make it clear that a priority has immediate effect at the time upon which it is lodged;
- provide that a priority notice expires at midnight on the last day of the prescribed period; and
- prescribe an extended period of 90 days in new Regulation 18A of the Land Titles Regulations 2012, increased from 60 days as previously provided in section 52 of the LTA.
Separate Office Circulars providing further details regarding each of these two amendments will follow.
The other changes to the LTA and the Regulations may be broadly summarised as follows:
- Modifying prescriptive language or the assumption that a paper certificate of title has been issued to align legislation in anticipation of an ongoing future move towards paperless certificates of title;
- For clarity and consistency, changing the time periods provided for throughout the Land Titles Act 1980 so that they are all expressed in days;
- Introducing gender neutral language throughout the Land Titles Act 1980 when referring to a person or to the statutory position of the Recorder of Titles, Deputy Recorder of Titles or an Assistant Recorder of Titles;
- Introducing in other legislation a broadening of gender references when referring to a person or to a statutory position in sections which are being amended for another purpose;
- Clarifying the operation of section 133(5) of the Land Titles Act 1980 regarding withdrawals of caveats;
- Modifying unnecessary references to duplicate registered dealings;
- Removing the requirement from section 169A of the Land Titles Act 1980 to update the practice manual when a new form is approved for use by the Recorder;
- Aligning section 136A of the Act with section 134 so that time extends to the next business day if the office of the Recorder is closed;
- Correcting references to superseded legislation i.e. substituting the ‘Land Surveyors Act 1909’ with the ‘Surveyors Act 2002’;
- Detailing what is expected and required when lodging documents that are not in the English language in terms of appropriate certification and translation;
- Requiring appropriate initialling and amendment of documents post lodgement and the ability of the Recorder to rely on the representation as to correction without further enquiry;
- Providing that a workplace address is also an acceptable address for a witness;
- Modernising and improving certain practices for the lodgement of documents for administrative efficiency, consistency and integrity of the documents;
Recorder of Titles