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10 Land Title Documents


Summary

Land title documents in Queensland deal with the ownership and use of property. They come under the Land Act 1994 (leasehold land and deeds of grant in trust) and the Land Title Act 1994 (freehold land). Both Acts have specific requirements for the JP:
  1. It is mandatory to identify each person whose signature is witnessed
  2. Ensure the person(s) signing the document is entitled to do so - they are the holder of the relevant interest in the property, and they understand the nature and effect of the land title document
The responsibility of the JP is crucial as a signed land title document may affect a person's financial security. The document may allow a fraudulent transaction to proceed.

It is important the process below be followed exactly in which case the JP is absolved of responsibility for the property transaction.

The most common Land Title forms are Form 1 Transfer and Form 2 Mortgage.

Process

  1. Sight appropriate ID and record the full names of all persons to sign the land title form, the signatories
  2. Sight the additional document(s) that ensure the signatories hold the relevant interest in the land
  3. Record the following information in the log book:
    • Land title form number
    • Lot number, plan type and number, title reference number
    • The document(s) sighted to ensure the relevant interest in the land
  4. Have the signatories sign the land title document(s), and check the signatures against their ID document(s)
  5. Sign the land title document(s), add your full name and registration number (no seal should be used)

Notes

  • Ensure the JP is not a party to the transaction
  • Record answers to any questions you ask of the signatories
  • If the client fails to provide sufficient property description information hand them a copy of the Notice of inability to witness titles registry form
  • A Qld JP may witness a Qld land title document anywhere in Australia or overseas

Check Table

 Form  Parties  
Transfer - Form 1  Transferor (seller)  Transferee (buyer)
  - Rate notice
- Current title search
- Copy of contract
- Solicitor's letter
Mortgage - Form 2 by Current Owner  Mortgagor (borrower)  Mortgagee (lender)
  - Rate notice
- Current title search
Not relevant to JPs
Mortgage - Form 2 by Incoming Owner  Mortgagor (borrower)  Mortgagee (lender)
  - Copy of contract
- Solicitor's letter
- Other loan documents
Not relevant to JPs

The document used to associate the person with the land title document must contain the real property description (lot/plan, lot/plan/title reference, or title reference).

Witness ID Certificate

The financial institution as mortgagee may require their mortgagor(s) to complete a form listing details of their identity documents such as driver licence and others, and have this list witnessed by an authorised person such as a JP. Such a form constitutes a witness ID certificate and is often issued when the mortgagors have conducted their mortgage application online.

The JP Handbook tells us it is not the intention of the Registrar of Titles and not a Land Registry requirement that a JP take on a pseudo-agent role for a mortgagee when witnessing the signature of a mortgagor on a land registry Form 2—Mortgage. There is no statutory obligation for a JP to complete a certificate, statement or declaration for, or provided by, a mortgagee in association with a land title document.

Some identification statements include a disclaimer indemnifying the witness. If such a disclaimer is not present the JP may refuse to complete the statement. It is a personal choice whether or not a JP completes such forms.The JP Branch provides a Witness Certificate for Mortgagor in Queensland which includes a disclaimer, to replace any forms provided by the mortgagee.  It is advisable to use this form.  More details on this matter from the JP Branch are contained in Technical Bulletin 04/10. 

References