Noteworthy Changes of the Land Legislation Amendment Act 2017
NOTEWORTHY CHANGES OF THE LAND LEGISLATION AMENDMENT ACT 2017
Having come into effect on 20 September 2017, the Land Legislation Amendment Act substantially alters land law in Victoria.
Specifically, this act amends;
The Transfer of Land Act 1958 (“TLA”) in relation to the conversion of general law land and recordings in the Register of land.
The Subdivision Act 1988 (“SA”) in relation to unlimited and limited owners corporations and the registration of plans.
The Valuation of Land Act 1960 (“VoLA”) in relation to releasable information from the valuation record.
The purpose for such significant and broad reforms are as outlined within the act’s explanatory memorandum is to;
Promote greater efficiency in the conveyancing process, and to enable the Registrar of Titles to more effectively maintain the Register of Land.
Improve the efficiency of the process for registering plans of subdivision.
Enable the Valuer-General to provide valuation information in the same manner in which property sales information is currently provided.
The ways in which the Land Legislation Amendment Act attempts to achieve these goals is manifold, and the Act is riddled with a myriad of changes, ranging from minor to major, to the above three pieces of legislation.
Some of the more notable amendments affecting the average consumer are as follows;
1. The insertion of s 26X TLA now allows the Registrar to make enquiries with various councils and statutory authorities to obtain personal information about ratepayers and mortgagors of land, to compare with information already retained by the Registrar or Registrar-General.
This power is to further the Registrar’s obligation to bring all Crown granted Fee Simple Estates under the jurisdiction and governance of the TLA.
2. The substitution of s 47 TLA means the Registrar may now make a vesting order to give effect to a sale of land in circumstances where the purchases is unable to provide proof of payment of the purchase money, but where the Registrar is satisfied the Purchaser is entitled to such an order, and that any limitation of actions period has expired.
Such an amendment recognises human error, and that sometimes a buyer cannot prove payment as, over time, such proof has been lost or destroyed.
3. The insertion of s 52(6A) and (6B) TLA allows a judgement creditor (i.e. a creditor who has had their debt recognised by the court) to apply to the Registrar to remove a court order against the land, as recorded on the relevant folio, without full satisfaction of the debt.
This amendment recognises that the judgment creditor may enter into a compromise with the debtor, where partial payment or an alternate arrangement is accepted in lieu of full payment.
4. The amendment of s 59 TLA means a person may apply to the Registrar to become the registered proprietor of land which has been vested in them by an Act or by the order of a court.
This amendment aims to streamline, and make less expensive, the former process, which required in the SA the registered proprietor to actively provide a transfer to the person in whom the land is vested. Instead, it is now up to the latter to organise the registration of the land themselves, as they are the ones who are benefitting from such a court order/vesting by an act.
5. The insertion of s 91FA TLA allows an applicant specified in a priority notice to apply to the Registrar for an extension of the priority notice by ninety days.
This change from the former sixty days is designed to make the Victorian legislation consistent with New South Welsh and Western Australian Legislation.
6. The substitution of s 12(3B) SA holds that there are implied to exist over any road set aside on a plan, in favour of the responsible public authority or Council, all easements and rights necessary to provide services, if the easement or right is consistent with the reasonable use of the land as a road.
Besides ensuring the continued functioning of roads as roads, such a substitution is made to ensure consistency with s 12(2)(d) SA, which prescribes similar concepts to land on a plan which does not include roads.
7. The insertion of s 22B SA entitles the Registrar to request the submission of;
Any document (including certificate of title or instrument, an administrative notice, or other);
A response to any requisition (relating to any land);
Any information, evidence or notice; or
the doing of any act
which is necessary or desirable for the purposes of the SA
Furthermore, should these submissions not be made within a time stipulated by the Registrar;
The Registrar may refuse to accept, complete or proceed with any application, registration, dealing or matter whatsoever, or to make any entry or memorandum.
The Registrar may return any or all of the documents lodged in connection with the matter which the Registrar thinks fit
Any fees already paid in relation to this matter are forfeited.
The introduction of this section harmonises the powers available to the Registrar under the amended s 105 TLA with those now given by the SA.
8. The substitution of s 7E VoLA means the Valuer-General, on payment of any fees, and in accordance with any written policy directions of the Minister, may supply to any person information that;
Forms part of the valuation record
Is publicly available under s 7D
Such changes make the Valuer-General’s ability to release valuation information consistent with his/her ability to release property sales information under s 5(2) VoLA
This article is intended only to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render legal advice. No reader should act on the basis of any matter contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice.