What are the Downsides of Torrens Property? img

What are the Downsides of Torrens Property?

calender icon 11/13/2023    poster icon  Mark Goodman

While there are numerous advantages to Torrens property, that’s not to say that Torrens is always perfect. In fact, Torrens land can often pose some challenges to those of us working in real property conveyancing because if it’s an interest listed on the Certificate of Title then it is unquestionably deemed to affect the property.

So you run into circumstances where perhaps you have an old mortgage that arose 20 years ago where you can look at the history and feel certain that it has been paid off but not satisfied of record. It lingers on the Torrens Certificate even if there is no underlying debt. If that lender is still in business then you can contact them and potentially obtain a satisfaction that you can then record to delete the memorial of that document from the Certificate. However, if that lender is out of business or if they have been acquired by another lender – those can be very difficult to track. In turn, this makes it difficult to obtain a satisfaction. Now you have a mortgage that you feel confident doesn’t affect the property any longer, you feel confident it’s been paid off, yet the lien remains and you can’t just ignore it. It’s going to linger on the Torrens Certificate until it reaches its statutory expiration, which can be far off in the future.

Insuring Over Interests & Liens

That’s just one example of the litany of things that can linger on a Torrens Certificate of Title that aren’t easy to eliminate. That doesn’t mean we can’t insure over them. Depending on the circumstances, the title insurance company may be able to offer affirmative insurance against enforcement of that particular interest or lien that appears on the Torrens Certificate. However, you’re going to find that the title insurance company is not going to be willing to assume any liability or obligation for removing that matter from the Torrens Certificate.