NSW Eyes a Future of Electronic Land Contracts

The New South Wales government is looking at how to remove any lingering legal impediments to a completely electronic system for conveyancing and land dealings.

While much of the system is already in place for “e-conveyancing”, it is mostly focused on the steps involved in finalising property transfers.

The beginning of a transaction, including the negotiations between the parties, vendor disclosure and exchange of contracts, are outside the scope the state’s e-conveyancing platform.

As well, some documents essential to conveyancing must still be prepared in paper.

They include deeds and some registry instruments, such as mortgages and leases, which must be witnessed and, as a result, cannot be executed electronically.

As part of the reform process, the state government has launched a discussion paper on a number of proposals to promote technology in property transactions.

Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said the paper looks at how technology can be used to improve the conveyancing process for both industry and home buyers.

“Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or app, people use technology every day to manage their lives,” he said.

“Property transactions shouldn’t be any different.”

“Technology has transformed businesses and consumer expectations. We must ensure that property transactions are fit-for-purpose in the digital age.”

The discussion paper canvasses the remaining legal complexities involved in electronic transactions, including vendor disclosures, signature requirements and the exchange of contracts.

It looks at whether there is a need for legislation to regulate the use of digital technology in conveyancing, or whether digital technology can be used within the existing framework.

In the 2016-17 financial year, some 786,500 property dealings were lodged at the NSW Land Registry.

Around one-third of those were lodged electronically.

The state government has made a number of reforms already, with all standard property transactions in NSW to be lodged electronically by July 2019.

The NSW Law Society, the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s NSW division, and the Australian Institute of Conveyancing in NSW have all been consulted as part of the reform process, along with financial bodies.

SOURCE: The Australian Financial Review
POSTED: December 18, 2017
AUTHOR: Nick Lenaghan

@Jurds Real Estate – Cessnock and Hunter Valley Wine Country Property Experts – the place to buy, sell and lease property in Cessnock and the Hunter Region.

The Australian Financial Review
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NSW Eyes a Future of Electronic Land Contracts