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Update on eConveyancing - can paper titles still be used in NSW?

Overview

  • The Office of the Registrar General (ORG) recently published the Conveyancing Rules (Rules) Version 5.

  • These Rules took effect on 1 July 2019 and make it mandatory for certain transactions to be lodged electronically. However, they also provide in effect for a delay to certain other transactions becoming mandatory e-transactions.

  • The original deadline date to lodge all dealings electronically (making paper certificates of title obsolete) was 1 July 2019.

Background

  • In late December 2017 the NSW State Government completed the sale of the right to operate the titling and registry services functions of the former government body Land and Property Information (LPI).

  • LPI was split into two arms, one being the newly created government body ORG and the other being the privately-operated body Land Registry Services (LRS).

  • In essence, ORG provides the tracks and the train, and LRS drives the train.

Timing update

  • As stated, the original deadline date to lodge all dealings electronically was 1 July 2019.

  • However, the Conveyancing Rules (Rules) Version 5 now provide, in part, as follows:

  1. mandatory electronic lodgment of mainstream dealings: new Rule 8.7 makes it mandatory for all ‘mainstream’ dealings to be lodged electronically from 1 July 2019. Mainstream dealings are defined to mean a transfer, mortgage, discharge of mortgage, caveat, withdrawal of caveat or transmission application; and

  2. mandatory electronic lodgment of other dealings from 1 July 2020: new Rule 8.8 provides it is mandatory to lodge all dealings electronically from 1 July 2020, whether standalone or in combination.

What does this mean?

  • On this basis, electronic conveyancing (in respect of the registration of a transfer form transferring the ownership of a property) is now mandatory, as well as the other stated mainstream dealings.

  • However, for dealings such as a lease, a paper certificate of title can still be used. By way of example, if a landlord does not have a mortgage then the lease and paper certificate of title can still be lodged at LRS by the landlord’s solicitor in the usual long-standing manner. Prior to 1 July 2020, LRS will continue to return the next edition of a lodged paper certificate of title in paper format.

  • The complete transition to electronic titles and transactions is therefore currently postponed by one year.

  • We will continue to monitor updates from LRS and the ORG.


John Douglas

Principal

Douglas Legal

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