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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 24

XVII.—Land Transfers

page 20

XVII.—Land Transfers.

The transfer of lands and the registration of deeds is conducted on the system introduced by Sir Robert Torrens in South Australia, with some necessary modifications in detail. No difficulty is found in transferring land by means of simple and inexpensive forms, which can be filled up by anyone of ordinary intelligence, while mortgages and settlements are recorded with equal facility. As often as required, the court clears up past encumbrances and grants a new title. The last report of the Registrar-General of Land for the year ending June, 1876, gives particulars of transactions, of which the following is a summary :—

Number. Value. £ Applications for registration 1,259 742,245 Transfers 4,504 904,655 Crown grants 2,268 — Mortgages 2,819 1,755,115 Mortgages paid off — 359,000 10,850 —

These transactions having been carried out with a celerity, economy, and security which would show that the colonists are, at all events in this respect, infinitely better off than their lawyer-ridden countrymen at home.

The fees paid to Government for the above-mentioned 10,850 transactions amounted to 12,500l., or an average of 1l. 3s, for each operation. In addition to which a charge is made of one halfpenny in the pound on the value of all land brought under the operation of the Act, in consideration of which the Government guarantees the titles. No claim has yet been made, and an assurance fund has been formed to meet any that may arise.

Besides the above, the registration of deeds has produced 15,733l. in fees, but I have not ascertained the number of operations.