Office Circular No 2-1997

17 September 1997

Distribution: General

The Land Titles Office is to move from its present site of levels 4 and 5 in the Executive Building, 15 Murray Street, Hobart, to level 1 in the Lands Building, 134 Macquarie Street, Hobart. The telephone number (03) 6233 3659 will remain the same as will the postal address of GPO Box 541F, Hobart, 7001. The Deeds Office and the Central Plans Office of the Surveyor-General will be located in the basement. Inquiries for access to the Deeds Office are to be made at the inquiry counter on level 1.

To enable the move to take place the Land Titles Office will be closed on Friday 10 October 1997 and Monday 13 October 1997 and will re-open at its new site on 14 October 1997.

Although the Office will be closed on 10 and 13 October 1997 the remote searching facilities will continue to operate.

We apologise for the inconvenience which we have attempted to keep at a minimum.

Approved Forms

Section 169A of the Land Titles Act 1980 (as amended by the Land Titles Amendment Act 1996) provides a new process for approval of forms lodged with the Recorder of Titles.

Section 169A(4) allows the Recorder to continue to register dealings on the old prescribed forms approved before 1 November 1996 up to 1 November 1997. After this time the 12 month's moratorium expires.

This means that after 1 November 1997 none of the old prescribed forms, (including privately printed forms approved before 1 November 1996), can be used and lodged for registration. Any such forms lodged for registration will be refused registration and returned.

Accordingly, clients relying on approvals for privately printed forms granted before 1 November 1996 should ensure that requests for approval of forms are lodged as soon as possible to allow for completion of the new process before 1 November 1997.

Variations to and Additions to Approved Forms
In the many months since approved forms came into use considerable confusion has arisen about what material may be included in an approved form and what constitutes a variation requiring approval.

Fundamentally, the same rule applies to approved forms as applied to prescribed forms before the amendment was made to the Land Titles Act 1980. Put simply, if there is no material alteration to the form then the form does not require approval. For example, some mortgagees wish to add additional provisions to the approved form. This is not a variation to the form. On the other hand some practitioners have asked for approval to vary the operative words of the mortgage, see for example, the operative words of the approved mortgage form No. M20. In that case the alteration did constitute a variation requiring approval.

Approval to Print

The confusion has arisen probably because the Land Titles Act 1980 assumes that the Recorder of Titles will provide either the forms on paper or in some other medium like a floppy disk. On the other hand any person who wishes to print their own forms is required by Regulation 50 of the Land Titles Regulations 1981 to obtain approval to print their own forms.

If you choose to print your own forms but use the standard format, then all you will require is approval to print under Regulation 50 and this will be given providing the document meets Land Titles Office standards. On the new single page forms a notation that approval has been given to self-print will be included at the foot of the document in the same place where the form approval number is given.

Should you have any confusion about this matter feel free to contact Maurice Cornish, Project Officer, on (03) 6233 3579.

Remote Lodgement

As part of the Government's New Directions Programme, the Land Titles Office, the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania, and the State's Courts are in the process of establishing facilities for the remote lodgement of documents. Legal practitioners will have seen The Legal Aid Outlook which sets out in some detail the arrangements to be made.

Initially electronic lodgement to the Land Titles Office will be for the lodgement of Priority Notices and soon after it is proposed to provide for the electronic lodgement of caveats. Legislation to enable their electronic lodgement was passed last year.

Michael Dixon, Recorder of Titles, Ian Pritchard, Registrar of the Supreme Court, and Colin Brown, Director of Legal Aid Tasmania together will be visiting various centres of this State to outline the nature of the proposal to get feedback from our clients. The meetings will be held at the following venues:
  • Burnie - 30 September 1997 held at Legal Aid Office at 4.30pm (afterwards an informal dinner at the Malley Grill, 26 North Terrace)
    RSVP to Jean Galloway or Angela Jenkins on telephone (03) 6233 3299 by 24 September 1997
  • Devonport - 1 October 1997 held at Magistrates Court at 4.30pm (afterwards an informal dinner at the Gateway, Fenton Street)
    RSVP to Jean Galloway or Angela Jenkins on telephone (03) 6233 3299 by 25 September 1997
  • Launceston - 23 October 1997 held at Supreme Court Conference Room at 4.30pm (afterwards an informal dinner at the Launceston Club, 61 Tamar Street)
    RSVP to Jean Galloway or Angela Jenkins on telephone (03) 6233 3299 by 15 October 1997
  • Hobart - 7 and 16 October 1997 4.30pm, 6th floor Conference Room, Lands Building, 134 Macquarie Street, Hobart
    RSVP to Jean Galloway or Angela Jenkins on telephone (03) 6233 3299 by 29 September 1997 and 8 October 1997 respectively

    We have arranged the informal dinners at the venues outside Hobart to give people the rare chance to meet the 3 senior legal officers in a "captive" atmosphere.

    Opportunity to Discuss Problem Cases

    The Recorder of Titles, Michael Dixon, and Gary Peterson, Research Officer, will be available to discuss problem cases in:
  • Burnie on 1 October 1997 between 8.30am to 11.30am at Burnie Council Chambers
  • Devonport on 1 October 1997 between 2.00pm to 4.00pm at the Magistrates Court
  • Launceston on 24 October 1997 between 8.30am to 12.00 noon at Henty House
    Please contact Michael Dixon's Secretary, Jean Galloway, or Angela Jenkins on
    (03) 6233 3299 to make an appointment giving details of the file so that we can bring the appropriate records with us.

    Registration Under the Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995

    This Act provides for the protection and conservation of places having historic cultural heritage significance. You will be aware from the press that steps have been taken under this Act which will lead to the entry of a significant number of places in the Tasmanian Heritage Register.

    It should be noted that no entry on the Tasmanian Heritage Register is notified upon the Land Titles Register, so incoming purchasers, mortgagees and people developing land will have to make an independent search of the Tasmanian Heritage Register to determine if the property is listed or is intended to be listed. Inquiries should be made to the Tasmanian Heritage Council and Secretariat (telephone (03) 6233 2067 - postal address, GPO Box 618, Hobart, 7001, or on level 3 in the Lands Building, 134 Macquarie Street, Hobart, 7000).

    An examination of the Historical Cultural Heritage Act 1995 will reveal that a Heritage Agreement will be registered on the Land Titles Register. Generally, these would relate to agreements for the maintenance and protection of particular sites.

    It is Government policy that listings and notifications such as the Tasmanian Heritage Register will be included in the Government's LIST Project and as a result will be available for electronic search. However, until that time occurs, inquiries relating to listings of properties on the Tasmanian Heritage Register should be made to the office and address noted above.

    Recorder of Titles