Your home may not be your own, says expert

Safe as houses, right?

Not according to a legal expert who holds fears about the system which says who owns a property.

Rod Thomas, a barrister and senior lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Law at Auckland University of Technology, said the property registration system was open to abuse.

Land transfer is prone to fraud or error and while you might own your house and think your name is registered on the title, you could be wrong, he says.

Title registration is at the mercy of dishonest or incompetent conveyancers, he says, criticising the electronic system operated by the Government's Land Information New Zealand.

Either through fraud or a lawyer's mistake, someone else could be the legal owner of your property, Thomas said.

Even if your name is on the title today and you have a copy of the title to prove that, the property could easily be transferred into someone else's name without your authority or knowledge, Thomas claims.

To read the full NZ Herald article, click here

Posted: 16 Jun 2010

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