From 1 July 2019 the NSW Government mandated the use of eConveyancing which is the digital completion of conveyancing transactions including transferring property ownership from a seller to a buyer, to streamline the conveyancing process for buyers and sellers; lawyers and conveyancers; and financial institutions.
To conduct an eConveyancing transaction, buyers and sellers must use the service of a lawyer or conveyancer who is registered with an Electronic Lodgement
For a practitioner to conduct a client’s conveyance using the electronic platform, the client must first provide written authorisation in the form of a Client Authorisation.
Through the Client Authorisation, the client expressly authorises the signing of documents on its behalf, the lodgement of documents such as transfers for registration, the financial settlement of the conveyance and anything else necessary to complete the transaction.
In conjunction with the Client Authorisation, taking reasonable steps to identify the client is a keystone of eConveyancing. The verification may be undertaken by the practitioner or may be provided by a Subscriber Agent. There are a number of commercial providers of verification of identity services.
The transition to eConveyancing by the NSW Land Registry Services has been in progress since 2013. Originally, transactions where conducted using manual processes and documents such as parties to a transaction having to attending in person to complete the transaction by the hand-over of funds in exchange for title documents followed by registration.
Under the mandate, the following documents must be lodged electronically (alone or in combination):
- Discharges of mortgage
- Withdrawals of caveat
- Transmission applications
- All refinancing documents.
As a result, NSW LRS cannot and will not accept these documents for paper lodgement from 1 July 2019. The Office of the Registrar General is the government agency leading the implementation of the mandate.
As it is not possible to provide a paper certificate of title in an electronic workspace for settlement, a new approach is required. Paper titles will be phased out over time, replaced with virtual digital titles.
This article is for general information only and is not intended as legal advice. If you need specific help contact your legal professional.