e‑Conveyancing — The e” stands for excit­ing”!

In Brief

Any­one who has dis­cov­ered the highs and lows of deal­ing with exchange and set­tle­ment in rela­tion to real prop­er­ty knows how del­i­cate and unre­li­able the process can be. Enter e‑conveyancing. Wendy Con­ce­icao, Asso­ciate and man­ag­er of our Con­veyanc­ing port­fo­lio, and Euge Pow­er, solic­i­tor, look at the reli­a­bil­i­ty and oth­er ben­e­fits which may arrive when prop­er­ty set­tle­ments make the leap into cyberspace.

New South Wales became only the sec­ond state in Aus­tralia on 8 Octo­ber 2013 to pro­vide some type of e‑conveyancing option to the pub­lic. Ini­tial­ly this option is only for sin­gle par­ty trans­ac­tions such mort­gages, dis­charges of mort­gage and most refi­nances. How­ev­er, at the end of Sep­tem­ber 2014 mul­ti-par­ty trans­ac­tions will go live” in NSW and trans­fers, set­tle­ments, caveats and notices will all be avail­able for finan­cial insti­tu­tions, solic­i­tors and con­veyancers. NSW is not the only state to get the elec­tron­ic treat­ment. All states are signed up for the imple­men­ta­tion of a sin­gle sys­tem of e‑conveyancing.

The com­pa­ny run­ning the imple­men­ta­tion is PEXA (Prop­er­ty Exchange Aus­tralia Lim­it­ed). PEXA is a com­pa­ny whose main finan­cial stake­hold­ers include the New South Wales, Vic­to­ri­an, Queens­land and West­ern Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ments as well as some of Aus­trali­a’s largest finan­cial institutions.

What is it?

e‑Conveyancing will pro­vide an option for par­ties to com­plete prop­er­ty trans­ac­tions elec­tron­i­cal­ly. This will enable par­ties who have reg­is­tered for e‑conveyancing to under­take the fol­low­ing online:

  • lodg­ing instru­ments and title deal­ing doc­u­ments in aid of reg­is­tra­tion of changes to prop­er­ty inter­ests and ownership;
  • com­ple­tion of finan­cial trans­ac­tions includ­ing set­tle­ment monies, tax­es, duties, dis­burse­ments all at the date nom­i­nat­ed; and
  • allow each par­ty to view and com­plete all doc­u­ments at any time using the elec­tron­ic interface.

What are the benefits?

Cost: There may be some reduc­tion of hard dis­burse­ment costs due to the lack of phys­i­cal doc­u­ments and pro­duc­ing them at a par­tic­u­lar time (e.g. no set­tle­ment clerk required).

Reduc­tion of fail­ure rate: The sys­tem will under­take dum­my lodge­ments through­out the elec­tron­ic process so any issues with any part of the process are picked up before set­tle­ment is to occur. No phys­i­cal doc­u­ments, online funds trans­fers and every­one hav­ing access to the doc­u­ments using the inter­face means there will be a great reduc­tion in issues at set­tle­ment. This means fax­ing of fur­ther doc­u­ments, hav­ing clerks on hold wait­ing for instruc­tions, or pro­duc­tion of fur­ther cheques, bank­ing of cheques and asso­ci­at­ed issues are vast­ly reduced.

Time: Due to the above details in Reduc­tion of fail­ure rate”, there is a great deal of time which might be saved in rela­tion to any one trans­ac­tion.

Space: Crowd­ed set­tle­ment rooms will be a thing of the past. As the elec­tron­ic method has no lim­it on the amount of trans­ac­tions which can occur, every­one can set­tle on the last Fri­day before Christ­mas with­out caus­ing issues.

When can we start?

New South Wales will be the first to obtain all func­tion­al­i­ty for the e‑conveyancing sys­tem in late Sep­tem­ber 2014. Vic­to­ria will fol­low in Octo­ber 2014, Queens­land in Feb­ru­ary 2015, West­ern Aus­tralia in May 2015 with oth­er dates to be announced.

All par­ties will have to be reg­is­tered in order for the ser­vice to be used for any par­tic­u­lar trans­ac­tion, and only finan­cial insti­tu­tions, solic­i­tors and licensed con­veyancers may be registered.