Benefits of the Torrens System

The changeover to the Torrens System relieved buyers and sellers of examining long, complicated deeds and dealing with owners who might withhold or lose their deeds and even try to commit fraud. Today, a prospective buyer is not required to look beyond the record in the government-managed registry.

The Torrens System operates on the principle of “title by registration” rather than “registration of title.” A buyer can only receive a title if it is first registered, rather than buying a piece of land and then register it later.

In the registry, each piece of land is identified by a unique number and title. Each title has a description of the exact dimensions of the land and its boundaries. A title shows the names of the registered owners and any legal interests that have been applied against the title and which consequently affect ownership. Also, the registry is open to and may be fully searched by the general public.

The four main principles of the Torrens System help buyers and sellers feel secure about conducting land ownership transactions. They are:

  • Conclusive evidence of ownership – This is called the principle of indefeasibility. Because the government has records of all land titles and is responsible for cataloguing and preserving them, buyers are guaranteed their land purchase is exactly as the title describes it. 
  • Facility to transfer – Title owners can transfer ownership to others more easily as there are several well-defined categories of ownership.
  • Compulsory registration of titles – All titles must be registered in the government’s land registry system. This rule ensures that accurate records of all transactions related to land ownership are kept.
  • An assurance fund – In the extremely rare case that an owner is defrauded or suffers a financial loss due to some error in the system, an assurance fund is in place to compensate the owner for such losses.