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 . 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 .
Title registration might be explained as containing three principles:
- 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 . 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 .
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 .
Examples of Torrens title
- Torrens title system is used in Australia, where the state governments have adopted the system. This system allows landowners to register their title deed, which is a single document that contains all the details of the property, such as its description, owners, and liens or encumbrances. This document is a proof of title and has to be updated regularly.
- Torrens title system is also used in New Zealand, where it is known as the Land Transfer Act. This system allows landowners to register their title deed, which is a single document that contains all the details of the property, such as its description, owners, and liens or encumbrances. The title deed is updated regularly and is a proof of title.
- In the United States, Torrens title is known as the Torrens Act, which is a system of land registration that allows landowners to register their title deed. This document is a single document that contains all the details of the property, such as its description, owners, and liens or encumbrances. The title deed is updated regularly and is a proof of title.
- In Canada, Torrens title is used in some provinces and is known as the Land Titles Act. This system allows landowners to register their title deed, which is a single document that contains all the details of the property, such as its description, owners, and liens or encumbrances. The title deed is updated regularly and is a proof of title.
Advantages of Torrens title
The Torrens title system offers several advantages to property owners, including:
- Increased security of ownership - Torrens title provides certainty of title and ownership that is free from any hidden liens or encumbrances. It also eliminates the need for lengthy searches of title records, making the process of transferring title easier and more efficient.
- Lower risk of fraud - The Torrens title system eliminates the possibility of fraud, as it requires all transactions to be registered and tracked in a central registry.
- Lower litigation costs - The Torrens title system reduces the costs associated with resolving land disputes, since all the title information is stored in one place and is easily accessible.
- Greater marketability - Torrens title makes it easier to transfer property, since all the title information is readily available and the title is guaranteed. This makes property more attractive to buyers.
Limitations of Torrens title
The Torrens title system has some limitations that must be considered. These include:
- The Torrens title system is not suitable for transactions involving movable property.
- The system does not protect against fraud, as it does not require a property transfer to be registered.
- It is not always easy to determine the boundaries of a property, and the Torrens title system may not be able to adequately delineate them.
- The Torrens title system does not guarantee the accuracy of the information registered on the title.
- The Torrens title system does not provide for the protection of tenants or other occupants of the property.
- The Torrens title system does not provide for the protection against other encumbrances, such as easements and rights of way, which may affect the use of the land.
One of the related approaches to the Torrens title is the use of title insurance. Title insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides financial protection to the owner of a property by indemnifying them if they suffer any financial losses due to legal defects in the title.
- Deed registration is another related approach, which is commonly used in the United States. The deed is a legal instrument that records the transfer of a property from one party to another. It is registered with the county clerk or recorder and serves as evidence of ownership.
- Land registration is a system that is used in some countries to register and record information about land ownership and land rights. The system helps to protect the rights of land owners and prevents disputes over land ownership.
- Land trust is a legal instrument used to manage a property on behalf of the owner. The trust holds title to the property and is responsible for maintaining the property and managing it in the best interests of the owner.
In summary, there are several related approaches to the Torrens title system, including title insurance, deed registration, land registration, and land trust, which all serve to protect the rights of property owners and to prevent disputes over land ownership.
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- Cooke E. (2003), The New Law of Land Registration,Bloomsbury Publishing
- Kollen-Rice M. (2008), Real Estate Foreclosures, McGraw Hill Professional
- McHugh P. G. (2011), Aboriginal Title: The Modern Jurisprudence of Tribal Land Rights, OUP Oxford
- Moore G. (2005), Essential Real Property, Psychology Press
- Sarwari B. (2013), The Torrens System. Indefeasibility and the Fraud Exception, GRIN Verlag
Author: Magdalena Łubiarz