With the recent introduction of the new electronic land title registration system, questions have been asked about the new system’s security.Previously any change of ownership, mortgage or other interest affecting a land title could not be processed without the actual Title Deed document being produced to the Land Registry Office.

The new system replaces paper titles with electronic ones. The electronic file held by the Land Titles Office is now the only title record for every property in New Zealand. Production of paper duplicates of certificates of title has been dispensed with completely.

Some commentators have suggested that this could make it easier for fraudulent or mistaken registrations to take place. The Land Titles Office argues that this is not so, but even if it was, the government guarantee of all titles that is the basis of the NZ titles system, remains in place.

The Land Titles Office still caries out the rigorous checking process that all transactions undergo before being registered. The bottom line is that the Land Titles Office, because it guarantees the integrity of all titles, has to be particularly vigilant. This means that if any mistakes do occur, these will be rectified by it.

This is exactly as it always has been. If the electronic system does mean there are slightly greater risks, and it is by no means clear that there are, then these risks are the responsibility of the Land Titles Office, not of property owners.

If you have any queries or concerns about the title to your property, please get in touch with us. Our very experienced Property Team will be able to help you.