Insights from the NSW Land Registry Services
As of 22 March 2021, 29 dealings in NSW are no longer accepted via paper lodgments and will now need to be lodged electronically.
The NSW Government has also released a draft bill to allow for 100% electronic lodgment of land transactions, aiming for these provisions to commence in August 2021.
With NSW transitioning to 100% electronic lodgments, what do these changes mean for the legal and conveyancing industry and how can firms mitigate risk?
SettleIT’s General Manager, Daniel Petrucci hosted a live webinar on 18 March, and invited Ahmed El-Ali, eConveyancing Manager and Christopher Trent, Product Development Manager from NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS) to provide their insights on what these changes are and how they have been working with lawyers and conveyancers to prepare for these changes.
The conveyancing industry is currently undergoing a huge digital transformation and the NSW LRS have already made 99% of dealings available electronically, comprising of their mainstream dealings including the upgraded eLease, which already has a great uptake, and Residual dealings, which were delivered in batches throughout the year. This has been phenomenal progress to what e-Conveyancing was a year ago, and it is forecasted that this digital transformation will reach its peak in the coming year.
So, what industry changes are in the pipeline at NSW LRS?
The next couple of months will see dramatic changes including the implementation and impact of the Residual Dealings Mandate where 29 dealings have now been mandated to be lodged electronically. The full list of these dealings can be found on the NSW LRS website here. In May, the LRS are also looking at releasing a further batch of Residual dealings, which will comprise of 39 documents, and moving to 100% electronic enablement by August 2021.
Another massive milestone coming up for NSW is the removal of Certificate of Titles and the Control of the Right to Deal (CoRD), by the end of 2021. This means that parties will no longer be required to use the PEXA workspace or provide consent and no physical title will be required to be produced at NSW LRS. At this point, NSW will be on track to be 100% electronic in terms of lodgments.
What do these changes mean for Solicitors and Conveyancers?
As electronic dealings become mandated, there will be an increase in demand for solicitors and conveyancers as consumers will be required to go through as a Subscriber to lodge electronically. This move means that solicitors and conveyancers should consider becoming ELNO Subscribers or utilise other services, such as InfoTrack’s SettleIT, to support their clients.
With the required changes coming up, it is important for solicitors and conveyancers to recognise their responsibilities as Subscribers. These include but are not limited to:
- understanding ARNECC’s (Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council) Model Participation Rules and adhering to Subscriber compliance audit processes;
- undertaking Verification of Identity (VOI) in compliance with the VOI Standard or by taking reasonable steps as defined in Version 6 of the Model Participation Rules;
- ensuring there is a Right to Deal;
- obtaining additional authorities such as Client Authorisation Forms (CAF).
What are the benefits of going digital?
As NSW is transitioning to digital, there are a wide range of benefits including:
- No Certificate of Title being required allows for more seamless transactions.
- Requisitions will be able to be satisfied electronically using the LRS secure upload portal.
- Faster registration times.
- A reduction in manual activities such as physical attendance and an increase in transparency.
- Decrease in requisitions that consumers are receiving, as there are rules implemented around various documents which will prevent some common errors.
Where can I turn to for assistance?
The transition to digital in the last twelve months has been swift and impactful. Some firms have embraced the change while others have preferred to stick with traditional methods. With these incoming mandates, now is the time to embrace digital and become comfortable with utilising technology to help your firm become more efficient and productive.
SettleIT is an electronic platform that allows law firms, conveyancers, and financial institutions to outsource the lodgment of registry documents and settlements. SettleIT offers guidance and up to date advice across all areas of property related lodgments and settlements. Our dedicated team work on behalf of you to complete electronic lodgments and settlements so you can handle more volume of work without increasing headcount.
SettleIT has also enabled Wheeler Family Law to take on more matters and stay up to date with all legislative requirements. “we have become more efficient because we no longer have to deal with PEXA. We continue to provide conveyancing services more or less as we previously did, but the process is quicker on our end. Outsourcing e-conveyancing has meant InfoTrack handles the administrative aspects of our property transactions, once the contract goes unconditional.”
If you are looking to keep on top of the many upcoming changes within the conveyancing industry in NSW register now to watch the on-demand webinar 'Transitioning to digital and mitigating risk with NSW Land Registry Services'. If you need support in the transition to digital lodgments and settlements, find out more about SettleIT. Or, to streamline your property matters and use end to end e-conveyancing, get started with InfoTrack today.