Q1: Will there be any anti-forgery measures to guard against property fraud under the title registration system?
A: Under the LTO, a title certificate issued by the Land Registry will have to be returned to the Registry for cancellation prior to registration of a transfer of the property. The Registry will take all practicable steps to strengthen the control measures on the issuance of title certificates and adopt advanced security features to reduce the risk of forgery of title certificates. In addition, property owners will be advised to keep the Registry updated of their latest correspondence addresses (and email addresses) so that the Registry can send a notification to the property owner concerned upon receipt of an application for cancellation of a title certificate.
Besides, the Property Alert service at a fee can serve as an additional fraud prevention measure under the title registration system. This service will help property owners detect as soon as possible any unexpected or suspicious applications lodged for registration against their properties as they will receive an email alert from the Registry when an application for registration is lodged against their properties.
Furthermore, conveyancing solicitors will continue to play an important role in protecting property owners from the risk of fraud. Similar to the present deeds registration system, the legal professionals will take necessary measures to verify the identity of the parties executing the instruments to be lodged with the Registry.