LegCo Online Up-date: Proposed amendments to LTO
At the Friday Tea Gathering on 13 February, the Land Registrar explained major amendments the Government is planning to make to the Land Titles Ordinance (LTO) Cap. 585 passed in 2004 but as yet to come into effect. The most important (and controversial) amendments concern rectification and conversion:
Rectification: The LTO as passed provides for mandatory rectification of the Register for fraud cases under an order of the court. Under the proposed amendment, mandatory rectification will be allowed only against the first bona fide registered owner after fraud / void instrument, and there is no mandatory rectification if property has been divided up and sold on to multiple owners.
Conversion: Under the LTO, upon commencement, title registration will be applicable to new grants only. Existing land stays under the present LRO (Land Registration Ordinance) unless voluntary conversion is approved upon application. Conversion by operation of law takes place for all remaining land (with certain exceptions) at a date 12 years after commencement date. Under the proposed amendment, an intermediate stage of “initial conversion” 3 years after commencement date will be introduced.
Implications are far-reaching. Consultation is currently underway. LegCo’s Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services and the Panel on Development have formed a joint sub-committee under my chairmanship. The Government will brief the sub-committee periodically on progress and development. Links to the relevant papers will be provided through my on-line up-date to conveyancing practitioners on my email register. Please send a reply to this up-date to ensure that you are on the list.
Link to papers:
Powerpoint for the talk on “Proposed Amendments to Land Titles Ordinance” by Mr. Kim Salkeld, Land Registrar, 13 February 2009.www.margaretng.com
Consultation paper: Conversion of Existing Land and Property to LTO system, December 2008. http://www.landreg.gov.hk/consultation/en/download/dev1219cb1-396-6-e%20(P.27-35)_conversion.pdf
Consultation paper: Rectification and Indemnity Provisions, December.
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