eConveyancing has launched in South Australia! The introduction of eConveyancing revolutionises the way we settle property transactions. This is an exciting time for Conveyancers as we will now be able to complete settlements in a digital environment.
The changes to the Real Property Act to bring us into an eConveyancing environment are by far the greatest since the Act was passed in 1858 and some of the most significant we have experienced in our industry to-date.
The benefits of eConveyancing are that the new ownership will be registered immediately. Currently, there can be a four-to-six week gap between the time settlement takes place and when documents are registered at the Lands Titles Office.
As a Vendor, funds are transferred in real time which means they will now receive funds immediately rather than having to wait for bank cheques to clear in their accounts.
Verification of Identity & Authority
As the gatekeepers in the eConveyancing environment, Conveyancers must now be confident of who their clients are and that they have the authority to deal with the land. It is now a requirement that anyone involved in a property transaction must be formally identified. The Verification of Identity is a structured and tiered requirement set by the Lands Titles Office. The process involves a face to face interview with a conveyancer (or their agent), producing sufficient identification to confirm their identity.
In addition to verifying their identity, we must now take reasonable steps to verify our client’s authority or entitlement to be a party to the transaction. This involves establishing a link between the land and the owner. For a Vendor, this may be as simple as obtaining a copy of a current council rates notice.
The verification of identity, authority check, and the signing of the client authority is ideally all completed during the same face to face interview. This ensures all of our checks are done at once and we can confidently sign any documents on our client’s behalf.
No Duplicate Certificates of Title
The most significant change to be aware of is the removal of duplicate Certificates of Title. With people now being able to search the Title on the Register via the internet, duplicate Certificates of Title are no longer required and are no longer valid documents.
The Lands Titles Office will no longer issue green duplicate Certificates of Title that we have all become so accustomed to and no longer will our clients need to keep any current Titles in their possession.
In its place, an electronic Confirmation Certificate will be provided to us, which we will forward to all clients as part of our new internal processes. The original Land Title will remain in electronic storage with the Lands Titles Office.
Retention of Evidence
As a result of the changes, Conveyancers must now retain a copy of all supporting evidence for 7 years. The Registrar-General of the Lands Titles Office will be auditing Conveyancers files to ensure that evidence is retained. Tuckfields have engaged a professional archiving service with state of the art security for both our peace of mind and our clients.
While these changes may sound daunting, we are confident that they will only streamline our existing processes and we are looking forward to the industry moving forward into the online arena. We are always happy to provide guidance or advice where needed so we welcome you to contact us with any questions you may have.
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