Registering property to get easier

Property owners are set to benefit from updated land transfer laws – thanks to a Bill now making its way through Parliament.

Thursday, March 17th 2016, 12:00AM

by Miriam Bell

The Land Transfer Bill, which will replace the current Land Transfer Act, yesterday passed its first reading.

It aims to make transferring land and registering property easier and safer for property owners.

Land Information Minister Louise Upston said the existing act is over 60 years old and doesn’t adequately reflect modern realities.

This Bill brings land transfer laws into the twenty-first century and will better protect property owners from the pitfalls they face today, she said.

“It includes provisions to prevent mortgage fraud, to protect Māori freehold land, and to extend the Registrar-General’s powers to withhold personal information to protect someone’s personal safety.”

There are also measures intended to reduce the time and effort involved in registering and transferring property.

Upston said the current Act is focused on paper-based transaction, which is at odds with today’s electronic land title registration system.

Much of its language is also archaic, complex and difficult to understand.

The Bill will simplify and modernise the focus of the property transfer system, and make it easier for people to understand what they need to do and how to do it, she said.

“In doing so, it will make life that much easier – and safer – for those who own, or are buying, property in New Zealand.”

The Bill, which can be found here, is now before the Government Administration Select Committee.

 

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