New Zealand Law Society - Plans to privatise NSW land titles criticised

Plans to privatise NSW land titles criticised

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A lobby group of lawyers, surveyors and others in the land titles industry has attacked plans by the New South Wales government to privatise the state's land titles.

The Concerned Titles Group says that under the Government's plan homeowners will need to take out title insurance costing as much as A$4,000 per transaction.

At present New South Wales land titles are managed by the state-run Land & Property Information (LPI). The state government is reportedly close to leasing the LPI database to a private operator in a 35-year concession deal worth an estimated A$2 billion.

The Concerned Titles Group says the funds from leasing LPI will be used to build and renovate two sports stadiums.

“We calculate that NSW residents will foot the bill as extra state taxes are required to replace the lost income from LPI," says Michael Green of the Institution of Surveyors NSW Inc.

“With the increasing cost of living, homeowners shouldn’t have to pay $4000 to insure their title deed that currently only costs around $4 per transaction. For the vast majority of homeowners, this is more expensive than car, life and home contents insurance combined.”

Law Society of New South Wales President Pauline Wright says the Law Society's position remains that the land titling function is a vital and core function of government.

"The national economy, and public confidence in the protection of every individual’s property rights, depend on the absolute security in the administration of the land titling function.  This remains the fundamental concern of lawyers, real estate agents and surveyors," she says.