Torrens title

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Torrens title
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The Torrens title was created as a method used to record transactions on the real estate market. Torrens title and deed are not exchangeable. One document can not be replaced by another. The Torrens title contains a list of memorial that covers all legal instruments (liens, mortgages, satisfactions and judgments) that have been registered on the property since its beginnings [1]. The Torrens system aims to guarantee ownership of land.


The basic concept of Torrens Title is that a person who is interested in a particular property might consult the Torrens Title Register and be pleased without further inquiry as to who has interests in the property and who is the owner [2].

Title registration might be explained as containing three principles[3]:

  • The minor principle - It means that the register reflects completely the current facts about ownership to each registered property.
  • The curtain principle - Ownerships needs do not have to be proved by complicated documents.
  • The insurance principle - In case of loss there is provide the compensation.


The Torrens title registration system was first introduced by Sir Robert Torrens in 1858 in South Australia (and was named after his inventor). He modeled it on the English system of registering ship titles. The Torrens system has spread throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Canada. In 1895, Illinois was the first state to introduce legislation authorizing the use of the Torrens system [4]. The Torrens system has been designed to improve the Old System Title. The original Torrens title contains a gold seal on the first page and it is Manila-colored. The front page also contains a legal description of the property [5].

Title of registration

Sir Garfield Barwick In the High Court Case described Torrens Title as a system of „title by registration” not as a system of registration of title. You become the owner of the property at the moment when you registered your name on the Torrens Title register. You receive "title by registration", which is the main concept of Torrens Title. Sir Barwick shows the difference between Torrens Title and Old System Title. He describes Torrens Title as a system where is a possibility to register title. The title is not historical. This what describes certificate of title is not the title which registered proprietor previously own. It is a title which registration itself has get in owner [6].


  1. Kollen-Rice M. (2008), s. 20
  2. Moore G. (2005) s. 45
  3. Cooke E. (2003) s. 9
  4. Burke B., Burkhart A., Helmholz R. (2010)
  5. Kollen-Rice M. (2008), s. 20
  6. Moore G. (2005) s. 50


Author: Magdalena Łubiarz