With the advent of electronic records in Queensland’s Titles Office there has been a sharp reduction over time in the number of “paper” Certificates of Title issued.
The convenience and practicality of being able to search title records and process dealings with property has meant that fewer property owners feel the need to obtain a hard copy Certificate of Title.
For those who do want to hold a paper Certificate of Title there is the ever present risk of losing that precious piece of paper often at the most inconvenient time. For example, when selling their property recently, our clients indicated that they were unable to find their Certificate of Title. As a result an Application had to be made to the Titles Office to replace it. This involved a relatively lengthy and costly process involving the Titles Office that delayed the settlement and introduced an unwanted element of uncertainty into the entire sale process.
The importance of keeping title documents and other important records safe cannot be over emphasised in circumstances where these documents go missing. Solicitors play an important role in protecting client documents by maintaining safe custody facilities that are carefully established and monitored, and this goes a long way to preventing unanticipated problems. Usually, as with our firm, these facilities are provided at no cost to clients.
While most Solicitors would be happy to assist a client wishing to obtain a hard copy of their Certificate of Title (where the client values that document as a permanent record of their ownership), it is always important to stress that the document needs to be kept securely as it must be produced when undertaking future dealings with the property. In most cases the Solicitor’s own safe custody facility is the safest and most appropriate way of protecting these important documents.