NSW property owners to face higher registration fees

Property owners in NSW who purchase new or existing homes and put the property title in their name will soon face higher registration application fees as the in-house land agency is set to be privatised.

With the NSW government preparing the public asset for sale, confirmed by the Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian, property owners will have to pay almost 25 per cent more for application fees to register land and property.

This increase in fees according to NSW Labor would generate a bonus of up to $27 million to the purchaser of the Land and Property Information Service, which already generates over $60 million a year.

From 1 July 2016, the Land and Property Information (LPI) will introduce a simplified fee structure for land title related products and services. Some of the fees that are increasing include Document Registration which will rise from $105.50 to $136.30 come 1 July 2016 per transaction, almost 25 per cent more.

However, as a whole, the changes are revenue neutral says the government, with some fees reducing including the Transfer including covenant and easement, whilst other fees will incur no changes (Title search document copies and owner/lessee name search).

Not everyone feels that the Land and Property Information should be sold though. NSW Law Society president Gary Ulman states that “There are some state owned assets that should remain in public hands”.

"Our land titles system protects the property interests of all NSW land owners and it is simply not in the public interest for the LPI to be sold off to private enterprise.

"This raises important issues around adequate protection of sensitive data, the continued implementation of best practice anti-fraud measures, and the potential loss of expertise of LPI personnel".

However, Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Dominic Perrottet said its reforms had made LPI pricing "simpler and fairer". He stated that although some prices would go up, there are others that will go down by 38 per cent. Overall, price changes would be revenue neutral.

"We have targeted the unfair situation where individuals and small developers were subsidising the cost of large commercial real estate developments – now that is no longer the case," he said.

"Titling charges for homebuyers will decrease by up to $61, and plan lodgement fees for smaller developments of 8 lots or less (which make up 91% of developments) will also decrease.

"The price of LPI's monopoly services (which include titling and registration) will only be permitted to increase by CPI over the term of any concession."

The Land and Property Information is internationally recognised as a leader in land acquisition and maintains a secure, efficient and guaranteed system of land ownership for NSW. From 1 July 2016, LPI will separate into five discrete units which will be integrated into the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.

These five units include:
  1. LPI – Titling and Registry Services
  2. Office of the Registrar General
  3. Spatial Services
  4. Valuation Services
  5. Office of the Valuer General
It is expected to be sold to fund infrastructure including new stadia, promised in the lead up to the 2016 election.
Published on 8th of June 2016 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich

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