Office Circular No. 5/2021
DATE: 21 DECEMBER 2021
CIRCULAR MEMORANDUM: 5/2021
SUBJECT: PRIORITY NOTICES - AMENDMENT TO SECTION 52 OF THE LAND TITLES ACT 1980 AND INTRODUCTION OF NEW REGULATION 18A TO THE LAND TITLES REGULATIONS 2012
Why has here been a change to section 52 of the Land Titles Act 1980?
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.
Section 52 of the Land Titles Act (“the LTA") is one of the sections amended by the LTA.
How has section 52 of the LTA been amended?
Section 52 of the LTA has been amended to remove from the Act the prescribed period of 60 days for the duration of a priority notice.
The prescribed period has been extended to 90 days and is now prescribed in the Land Titles Regulations 2012 (“the Regulations").
The amendment to section 52 also makes it clear that a priority notice has immediate effect at the time upon which it is lodged and that it expires at midnight on the last day of the prescribed period.
Which Regulation deals with the new prescribed period?
A new Regulation 18A was introduced into the Land Titles Regulations 2012 to prescribe the new period for a priority notice. The new prescribed period is 90 days.
Why has there been a change?
It was considered that 90 days rather than 60 days more appropriately aligned with real time requirements in a conveyancing transaction. The longer period of 90 days will allow a more appropriate amount of time to go through all necessary steps leading up to lodgement of documents with the Land Titles Office.
When does the change take effect?
The relevant statutory amendment to extend the maximum time period for priority notices takes effect on 1 January 2022.
What does this mean for priority notices lodged before the changes to the Act and the Regulations come into effect?
There is no resulting extension of time for the currency of priority notices that have already been lodged before the changes to the LTA and Regulations take effect. Those priority notices remain subject to the provisions of section 52 of the LTA in effect prior to 1 January 2022 and will last for the period stated therein (not exceeding 60 days) and will not have legal effect for any further period.
Have any forms changed?
Yes, but only to a minor extent.
The change is to reflect the legislative amendment to reserve priority for a period not exceeding 90 days.
TOLD and paper priority notice forms have been updated.
Recorder of Titles