Electronic conveyancing has been the catalyst for the introduction of significant changes to conveyancing requirements. The reforms outlined below streamline processes and strengthen the integrity of the conveyancing practice, as e-commerce and an online presence develop. These reforms apply to documents lodged in paper or electronically.
Verification of Identity
Representatives are required to take reasonable steps to verify the identity of each party to a conveyancing transaction.
Verification of Authority
Representatives will not only need to verify the identity of their clients but also verify the client's authority to enter into the conveyancing transaction.
A Client Authorisation is a document whereby a client authorises a practitioner to act on their behalf in a land transaction. Conveyancers or legal representatives will sign specified instruments on behalf of their client in accordance with the completed Client Authorisation.
Retention of Evidence
The Act requires evidence showing an instrument has been lawfully executed to be retained for a minimum period of 7 years from the date the instrument is lodged in the Lands Titles Office (LTO). This evidence includes the Client Authorisation, and any documents used for Verification of Identity and Verification of Authority.
Additionally, some evidentiary documents which previously needed to be lodged in the LTO with instruments are now instead to be retained by representatives. Representatives are required to certify the instrument to show they have retained the documents. For more details, including provisions specific to Mortgage dealings, please see Notice to Lodging Parties #189.
With the introduction of these new conveyancing requirements, a nationally aligned compliance program is being introduced in South Australia.
Under Section 220A of the Real Property Act 1886 and Section 33 of the Electronic Conveyancing National Law (South Australia) Act 2013, the Registrar-General has the power to undertake a compliance examination as part of the administration and enforcement of these Acts. Land Services SA are undertaking the compliance program on behalf of the Registrar-General. More information can be found on the Land Services SA website.
Further information / enquiries
Further information can be found in the Australian Registrars National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) Compliance Examination Guidance Note.
Listen to the Australian Institute of Conveyancers South Australia hosted podcast with the Registrar-General on Compliance Examinations.
Enquiries regarding the Compliance Program should be directed to LTOCompliance@landservices.com.au