For most people, the biggest investment they will ever make is buying a home. To protect that ownership, the Government keeps, safeguards and updates records of every property in NSW. Everyone involved relies on the accuracy of these records – buyers, sellers, agents, solicitors and banks.
The Government is planning to sell the part of the Land and Property Information office responsible for defining land boundaries and keeping property records. This will be the biggest change in the NSW property system for over 150 years when the records system was introduced.
The Government has just increased fees to make Land and Property Information more attractive for sale. The purchaser will be looking to further maximise profits, which it can do easily as it will have a monopoly.
Right now, Land and Property Information brings about $70 million a year into government coffers. This is a huge sum of money that pays for valuable public services. When sold, this money will be lost to the people of NSW.
The property system in NSW is supported by an iron clad guarantee from Government that your home belongs to you. This guarantee to your title is at risk. In the US, people have to take out expensive insurance to protect themselves against fraud and mistakes in property title. If this happens in NSW, that cost will be borne by you.
Property is one of the cornerstones of the NSW economy, and usually the most expensive purchase of any individual’s life. People are happy to pay for the valuable system of title assurance currently provided by the Government. The people at Land and Property Information are experts who are motivated to ensure accuracy and eliminate fraud, not to increase profits. Any move that will undermine confidence in the property system will jeopardise the NSW economy and should be avoided at all costs.