Paperless Conveyancing and Certificate of Titles

Paperless Conveyancing and Certificate of Titles

November 24, 2017

Paperless offices have been an on-again-off-again trend across every sector you can imagine for the last decade, with varying results. As we step further and further into the advanced technological world we can expect a lot more on-again, and little or no off when it comes to online transactions and paperless offices.

In NSW, the time of paperwork for conveyancing and certificate titles is coming to an end, an end with an exact date. July 2019.

By this date transfer of priority notices, property titles, registry instruments, banking for settlement and settlement paperwork will all be lodged electronically. From then on, all Certificates of Title will be converted to e-Titles.

PAPERLESS CONVEYANCING AND CERTIFICATE OF TITLES IS COMING

The process of moving to paperless conveyancing and Certificate of Titles is happening right now, with milestone dates rolling out in set phases. This coming July (1st July 2018) half the paperwork for title transfers will already be moved exclusively to online.

This includes:

  • Stand-alone transfers
  • Stand-alone caveats
  • Mortgages
  • Discharge of mortgages

With the rest, e-conveyancing and e-Titles, to follow the year after.

If you are purchasing or selling a property you will need to employ the services of a third party to access the system and handle the e-Dealings.

WHAT IS AN E-DEALING?

An e-Dealing is where registry instruments are lodged electronically on the Property Exchange Australia(PEXA) network. PEXA is Australia’s one and only Electronic Lodgement Network (ELN). To gain access to the platform secure log-ins are needed with identity checks and approved qualifications, the rigorous checks and codes to access the system make it much more secure than hand-signed documents, which can be forged or falsified.

This means that people will no longer be able to lodge their own instruments, however, having a professional like a conveyancer managing your property transfer rules out errors and even pitfalls that unqualified parties can sometimes fall into.

A conveyancer is a qualified property transfer expert. They assist people who have purchased or sold property in the preparation, lodgement and registration of any e-Dealings related to a property title transfer.

HOW E-CONVEYANCING WORKS

During the next two years, we can expect that almost all conveyancing work will be completed electronically. The systems themselves behind e-conveyancing have proven to be very efficient in time and accuracy since their introduction in 2014.

The PEXA platform is significantly more flexible than the paper copies, with instant access to settlement dates and figures as the sale progresses. The online meeting rooms make it easier for all parties involved in the sale to communicate, and it eradicates administration errors that can slow down property transfer processing.

E-conveyancing opens a virtual space for the legal representatives from each party to meet, (be it conveyancers, lawyers or legal practitioners) as well as meetings with a representative from the mortgage broker or bank to ensure quick and safe payment.

The system automatically generates its form data from the Land Registry office, which then guarantees that all the forms are filled correctly. Many of the delays in settlement clearance occur when the names or property details listed on the registry instruments do not exactly match the data stored at the Land Registry office.

The settlement is triggered electronically, and at the time and date agreed, the online system will send payment, lodge forms and notify all parties of the applications standings. This also means that settlement times can be set outside office hours and are not impacted by public holidays and weekends, although the processing might be affected at the Land Registry end, the opening hours for e-dealings extend well past regular working hours.

In addition, names will appear on titles immediately, all parties are updated in real time on the settlement status and keys can be made accessible to new owners much faster than the traditional paper processes.

THE FUTURE OF E-CONVEYANCING

This decision to transition from paper to E-conveyancing proves the NSW Government’s commitment to digital innovation.

It’s a step forward for the capacity and efficiency of property transfers and is a testament to the security, reliability and performance of the PEXA platform.

The timeframes, set for July 2019, are ambitious enough to encourage those still working with paper processes to take action immediately, yet still far enough in the future to ensure there is time for adequate training, development and increase of technical capacity for those who require it.

This is a customer based approach. By minimising manual processes, it cuts down on errors that can often show up on forms, expenses involved in travelling to meetings points and creating and storing paperwork plus quicker turn-around times with electronic bank transfers replacing expensive and cumbersome bank cheques.

With the success of ELN we hope to see e-conveyancing further expand to include additional land transaction registrations.

This new system will cover most common home and land purchases, although not all property sales will be included. If you are unsure about what instruments and titles you will be lodging, you can see the current electronic conveyancing listings eligible for eLodgment on the Land Titles website.

If you have any questions about e-conveyancing and how it may affect you, please contact our office.

Peta Stewart – Certified Practicing Conveyancer

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