What happens if you lose the title to your home?

Losing a treasured item such as a ring or necklace can be panic-inducing, but what about losing the title documents for your house?

In the face of such a dilemma, you may be thinking ‘have I forfeited my ownership rights?’ or ‘Can I sell my house without these papers?’. But, before panic overtakes reason, there are steps you can take to fix this issue.

Double-check you don’t have it

First, do a thorough search of your abode and any secure location where significant paperwork is often stored. You might have appointed a solicitor as a keeper for their legal papers.

Check with known banks, or ask a real estate agent with whom you’ve transacted before.

Do I even need my title documents?

If these options yield nothing, try looking into public records. Each state in Australia has a registry where all land or property ownership details are recorded. In fact, most Australian states now operate under a system known as the Torrens title, which simplifies the process of establishing ownership.

The Torrens title system relies on a central registry to keep track of and confirm rightful ownership of land in each or territory.

The benefit of this system is that, as opposed to holding physical title deeds, proof of ownership is reflected in the registration held by this database – so no, losing the physical documents does not mean you suddenly don’t own your house.

However, if you are trying to sell your house, most jurisdictions require an original copy of your title, so in this case you will need the physical document to proceed.

Can I get a new copy of my house title?

Thankfully, it is possible to get another copy. Legislation in each state and territor allows people to make an application for a ‘lost, destroyed or obliterated’ paper Certificate of Title.

It is easiest for you to engage a solicitor to assist with preparing the application, which must be submitted with a supporting statutory declaration signed by your solicitor anyway.

The statutory declaration confirms that the solicitor has carried out the required inquiries with all of the relevant parties in an attempt to locate the title before loading the application on your behalf.

It’s annoying, but not an emergency if your house’s title deed goes astray. Losing your house title deed isn’t the end of the world.

Just recall these important steps, and embark on the formidable journey with a clear head because assistance is closer than you imagine.

Have you ever lost the title documents to your house? What did you do? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: How I saved $6600 on my household expenses in 2023

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyerhttps://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/bradlockyer/
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. I have never seen a paper title deed to my house. I did not even know such documents were still used and if there is one I have no idea where it is. Not held by a bank as I never had a mortgage. I thought land titles were entirely computerized now and only existed on the government data base.

    • Typically held by the solicitor who handled the purchase if no mortgage. The bank would hold deeds under mortgage, if the owner pays out the loan the bank typically holds the deeds but you can take them out and do what you like with them.

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