Proposed Land Titles Registration System discussed

Members of the Land and Building Advisory Committee welcome the parallel running of the deeds registration system and the title registration system when the proposed Land Titles Registration System was discussed at the Committee's meeting today (June 25).

"The members believe such a gradual conversion would facilitate an orderly and systematic conversion and provide ample time for the public and legal practitioners to familiarize themselves with the new system," said the Chairman, Professor Yeung Yue-man, after the meeting.

"Members also generally welcome the proposal of giving the Court the power to order rectification of the land register in a fraudulent transfer. They agree with the Administration that in exercising this power, the Court may take into account acts of the parties and hardship to the parties.

"This should be the best possible means to strike a balance between the interests of an innocent former owner and an innocent purchaser in a fraudulent case," he continued.

"Some Members, however, are concerned about the effect of overriding interests on the right of property owners and urge the Administration to minimise such interests," Professor Yeung added.

Under Government's proposed Land Titles Registration system, properties under the current deeds registration system would be converted to the titles registration system on the first transfer of the property or upon voluntary application for conversion. The current deeds registration system and the new land titles registration system will run in parallel for a non-fixed period.

Other major proposals under the new system include giving the Court the power to order rectification of the land register in a fraudulent transfer; indemnity provisions with the upper limit for fraud cases at $30 million for each claim; and provision of defined overriding interests.

The proposals will be implemented through legislation. The Committee noted that the Administration intends to introduce the Land Titles Bill in the next legislative session.

End/Tuesday, June 25, 2002