Q1: What benefits will the title registration system bring to an owner?
A: Under the title registration system, disposal of the property whether by way of sale or mortgage will become easier. The law under the LTO recognises the person stated to be the owner in the Title Register as the person having full right of disposal of the property. The time and cost for establishing title or ownership will be reduced as it will no longer be necessary to look behind the Title Register and review the title documents to establish title. For a bona fide purchaser for valuable consideration and in possession of the property, he will, upon registration as owner, enjoy indefeasible title under the title registration system. If an owner suffers loss of ownership as a result of a court order restoring or refusing to restore the former owner’s title to the property, he may claim indemnity up to a cap in a fraud case, or without a cap if the loss was caused by mistake or omission of the Land Registry staff.
Q2: Will a property owner be required to keep any title documents and pass them to the purchaser when he sells his property under the title registration system?
A: To help identify the property owner and prevent property fraud, it is proposed that, unless the parties otherwise agree, when a property owner sells his property to a purchaser, he is required to provide the purchaser with the original of the transfer (or instrument of similar effect) which he has lodged with the Land Registry for registration as owner of the property.
Further, if a title certificate has been issued to the owner of a property, the Land Registry will not register a subsequent transfer of the property unless the title certificate is returned to the Land Registry for cancellation. Thus, the owner will have to produce the title certificate to the purchaser of the property to facilitate registration of the transfer.