Under the Torrens title system, registered estates and interests in land are guaranteed by the State Government pursuant to the provisions of the Real Property Act 1886. To learn more about the features and functions of land titling in South Australia click on the topics below.
South Australia has led the world in land title security since the original implementation of the Torrens system (see history).
The key principles of the Torrens system, which together establish indefeasibility of title, are:
- Mirror principle - the land titles Register accurately and completely reflects the current ownership and interests about a person's land.
- Curtain principle - because the Register contains all the information about the person's land, it means that ownership and other interests do not have to be proved by examination of all the lengthy complicated documents forming the chain of title evidencing ownership.
- Indemnity principle - Government guarantee backed by the Assurance Fund which provides compensation to a person who suffers loss of land or a registered interest as a result of fraud or error in registration.
The integrity of the land titling system is critical to the security and prosperity of South Australians both individually and as a society.
South Australia continues to innovate for title security, through such initiatives as those listed below.
The State of South Australia has retained its rights over the data collected for land titling and valuation purposes. The State, other approved government agencies and Universities can continue to appropriately use this data. Our office ensures that data is accessed by government agencies for legitimate and allowed purposes and that those using the data observe privacy, security and commercial obligations.
Name search suppression
An open, publicly searchable register of title and owner details is a key component of the Torrens system. Name and address details supplied on land dealings are used for publicly searchable registers and indexes.
The Real Property (Access to Information) Amendment Bill 2012 gave the Registrar-General authority to restrict access to a search of Lands Titles Office (LTO) records using their name, in cases where an individual's personal safety is likely to be put at risk.
Free Name Search Suppression service enables at-risk individuals to apply to the Registrar-General to have access restricted to searches of Lands Titles Office (LTO) records using their name. Searches made using other criteria, such as a Certificate of Title reference, are unaffected.
Introduced on 27 April 2015, a Priority Notice is a notice which is lodged against a Certificate of Title or Crown Lease to reserve priority for a pending transaction that will affect that land, thereby;
- Reserving priority for the transaction set out in the priority notice
- Notifying parties searching the title that the transaction is pending
- Assisting in fraud prevention, as notification of pending transactions will increase the likelihood of a fraud being detected
Introduced in May 2016 this service offers a 12 month renewable online subscription service that monitors activity against selected Certificates of Title. When an activity is detected, SAILIS will automatically trigger an email notification and SMS alert to the Subscriber’s recorded email address and mobile phone number. Activities that trigger Title Watch notifications include the:
- purchase of a Property Interest Report or Form 1 Product
- lodgement of a Priority Notice
- lodgement of a Dealing
- cancellation of Title
New conveyancing requirements
The Real Property (Electronic Conveyancing) Amendment Act 2016 commenced on 4 July 2016, introducing significant changes to the existing conveyancing requirements including:
- Processes such as verification of identity, right to deal and client authorisation which are aimed at limiting the impact of fraud and increasing security.
- Removal of Duplicate Certificates of Title / Tenants Copies of Crown Lease and introduction of Confirmation of Registration Notice.
- New requirements relating to Verification of Identity / Verification of Authority / Client Authorisations / Certifications and Retention of Evidence.