Key Principles of Reforms to Conveyancing Process
The Land Titles Office is well advanced with planning reforms to the conveyancing process in Tasmania by way of reforms to the existing paper-based lodgment process.
Generally these reforms are drawn from the National Electronic Conveyancing process. The Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) has developed a considerable amount of material supporting National Electronic Conveyancing including the Model Participation Rules Guidance Notes, which are a valuable reference in respect of the Tasmanian reforms to paper-based conveyancing in so far as they may apply. Consequently the materials may be relevant and referred to.
The key principles utilised to guide the development of these reforms include:
Introducing more rigour and security to the conveyancing process and providing a more secure Register of land:
The introduction of requirements to undertake a number of verification checks, obtain specific authorisation from a Client and retain relevant evidence relating to a conveyancing transaction provides an increased level of security and rigour to the conveyancing process and the Register of land (the Register) maintained by the Recorder of Titles pursuant to section 33 of the Land Titles Act 1980.
Working towards alignment with National Electronic Conveyancing:
The requirements and processes to be introduced as part of the reform to the paper-based conveyancing process are aligned as closely as possible to the National Electronic Conveyancing process. The electronic conveyancing process has been developed over a number of years with input from all Australian jurisdictions, including Tasmania, and has proven to be an efficient and secure conveyancing process.
“Tell me, don’t show me”:
The introduction of certifications, by which parties will be required to certify to the Recorder of Titles that relevant laws and requirements have been complied with, removes the need for the Land Titles Office to obtain and review all documentation relating to a conveyancing transaction. The Land Titles Office will make use of “tell me, don’t show me” where appropriate, wherein the Land Titles Office will only require evidence supporting a conveyancing transaction when required with lodgment, or when requested for the purpose of a Compliance Examination.
Reforms to Conveyancing Process
The upcoming reforms will introduce a number of new requirements and processes, these will include:
Verification of Identity:
Conveyancing professionals (legal practitioners, licensed conveyancers) and financial institutions will be required to verify the identity of the Client they represent or person to whom they are lending. This may be done by reviewing a number of identity documents provided by the person being identified. By undertaking Verification of Identity, the risk of identity fraud and registration of fraudulent land transactions is greatly reduced. More information is available on the Verification of Identity webpage.
Verification of Right to Deal:
Conveyancing professionals (legal practitioners, licensed conveyancers) and financial institutions will be required to verify the right to deal (right to enter into a conveyancing transaction) of their Client or person to whom they are lending. This may be done by reviewing a number of property documents provided by the person having their right to deal verified. By undertaking verification of right to deal the risk of a fraudulent transaction is greatly reduced. In addition, other parties to a conveyancing transaction are given greater confidence that they are transacting with the party who has the right to transact. More information is available on the Verification of right to deal webpage.
Conveyancing professionals (legal practitioners and licensed conveyancers) who represent Clients will be required to obtain, from their Client, a signed Client Authorisation which authorises the conveyancing professionals to act for a Client and, where possible, sign and complete relevant Registry Instruments and other Documents on their Client’s behalf. More information is available on the Client Authorisation webpage.
Retention of Evidence:
Conveyancing professionals (legal practitioners, licensed conveyancers) and financial institutions will be required to retain all relevant evidence related to carrying out a conveyancing transaction for a period of seven years from the date of lodgment. This includes evidence supporting; Verification of Identity, Verification of Right to Deal, Client Authorisation, other prescribed requirements, and any evidence required by the Duty Authority (State Revenue Office). More information is available on the Retention of Evidence webpage.
Conveyancing professionals (legal practitioners, licensed conveyancers) and financial institutions will be required to provide certifications to the Recorder of Titles that the specific dealing lodged complies with the relevant laws and requirements. More information is available on the Certifications webpage.
Authorised Representative Signatures & Removal of Witness Requirements:
As part of this reform, a number of Land Titles Office forms will be amended to enable the signing of the Registry Instrument or Document to be performed by the Authorised Representative, as authorised by a Client Authorisation. The amendment of these forms will simulataneously remove witnessing requirements.
The Land Titles Office will conduct Compliance Examinations to ensure conveyancing professionals (legal practitioners, licensed conveyancers) and financial institutions as well as other parties to a conveyancing transaction are complying with the relevant requirements. More information is available on the Compliance Examinations webpage.
Removal of certificates of title:
The introduction of these requirements and processes, in conjunction with other updates to the conveyancing process, will facilitate the removal of paper certificates of title. The Register of land (the Register) maintained by the Recorder of Titles pursuant to section 33 of the Land Titles Act 1980 continues to be the sole source of truth for estates and interests in land in Tasmania, as it always has been. More information on the removal of certificates of title is available on the Certificates of title webpage.
The Lodgment Requirements
webpage provides an explanation of the roles in conveyancing transactions in Tasmania and further information for Professionals and Individuals.