Proposed changes to eConveyancing in Queensland

proposed changes to eConveyancing in Queensland - Arrow White Legal Blog

Econveyancing – It’s E-asy!

NOTICE: We note the following announcement has been made by the Queensland Department of Resources, superseding the subsequent article which was correct at the time of posting.

Electronic conveyancing (or eConveyancing) is mandatory in Queensland from 20 February 2023. This means that certain instruments and other documents for property transactions will need to be digitally prepared, signed, settled and lodged using an Electronic Lodgement Network (ELN), by a subscriber, unless exempted. This includes transfers, mortgages, caveats (new, withdrawal), priority notices, and transmission by death. If a property transaction has been executed by a party before the mandatory commencement date, the transaction can still be paper lodged. The required instruments or documents can be lodged by subscribers with either of the two approved ELN operators in Queensland – Property Exchange Australia Limited and Sympli Australia Pty Ltd. Please note, not all required instruments are available through each ELN and each party to the transaction must use the same ELN. Mandatory eConveyancing will deliver a consistent service delivery experience for all the parties involved in property transactions in Queensland.

Advancements in technology have been widely adopted throughout Australia, with some areas of law (or some States) slower to embrace the change than others.

One upcoming proposed update is one to which conveyancers and lawyers will likely rejoice. There are proposed legislative changes currently undergoing consultation to implement mandatory eConveyancing or e-conveyancing in Queensland by early 2023.[1] Most modern firms have already incorporated the eConveyancing platform called PEXA. While on the other hand, some firms have not been so quick to adopt the electronic platform. If the regulation is rolled out in 2023 this will ensure that all firms utilise the same platform and there is consistency in operations.

What Does This Mean For a Purchaser or Seller?

This means settlements will take place virtually, utilising the Electronic Lodgement Network (ELN) as opposed to the “paper” settlements that have been the traditional mode of settlements. The latter, paper settlements, can get expensive, especially for smaller firms or rural firms as town agents are usually appointed. These additional fees can then be transferred onto the clients.

Another notable difference is that with paper settlements agents are usually booked in on behalf of numerous firms, and usually, for several settlements at a time occurring consecutively with little time (if any) to spare between. Delays in earlier settlements that day could require the agents to be in several places at once which could result in settlements not being completed. Time is of the essence and even a few minutes can sometimes be the deciding factor in a contract termination.

Having all settlements taking place all in the one spot (on the online portal) will not only be more convenient for conveyancers but mitigates some of this risk and is likely to cost the consumer less money on settlements.

Why is this important?

If the mandate proceeds, it means that Queensland will be comparable to its modern counterparts New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, who since 2016, have all implemented compulsory eConveyancing for certain land title transaction types.

Landgate Western Australia approximates that 25% of paper-lodged settlements fail to inaccuracy. When reviewing the data of other States who have adopted electronic conveyancing, it is apparent that electronic conveyancing ensures more, accuracy, transparency, and improved record-keeping. This is because they can be amended up until the last moment, and automatic electronic records of the transactions are created removing the possibility of human error.

Have Your Say Queensland

If you are interested in joining the discourse head to the below link to find out more:

IMPORTANT: This is not advice. Readers should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this article. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. Also, changes in legislation may occur quickly. We, therefore, recommend that our formal advice is sought before acting in any of the areas covered in any newsletter.

This webpage is made available by Arrow White for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, but not to provide specific legal, tax, financial or investment advice. By using this webpage, you understand that there is no lawyer-client relationship between you and Arrow White. The webpage should not be used as a substitute for competent professional advice from a suitably qualified professional. Nothing on this webpage should be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any asset by Arrow White or any third party. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether any investment, asset or strategy or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal and financial situation. You should consult a suitably qualified professional regarding your specific legal, tax, financial or investment situation.

Disclaimer: This publication is intended for general and informative use only and is not to be relied upon as professional financial or legal advice.

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