The world of conveyancing in the 21st century

Buying or selling a home is an exciting time for most people but it can now also be quite daunting with the recent adoption of electronic processes, also referred to as e-conveyancing.

When you purchase a home you are registered on Title. When a change needs to be made to the Title of a parcel of land, a lot of paperwork is involved. This includes the signing and lodgement of documents to the NSW Land Registry Services for their processing in order for the change to be recorded on Title.

Traditionally, conveyancing settlements involved at least four people physically meeting at an appointed time and place as ‘agents’ representing the vendor, the purchaser and the banks. Documents and cheques would be handed over between the agents and lodged at a later stage. But so much could go wrong during these settlements that could delay settlement taking place on that date.  For example, one person could be late, a cheque might have noted the incorrect amount, a party was a no-show or there might have been a document or signing error.  In those situations, settlement was often not completed and put off to another date.

So what is e-conveyancing? E-conveyancing is an efficient and secure way of conducting the settlement and lodgment stages of a conveyancing transaction. E-conveyancing was introduced with the intent to replace paper and manual processes.  E-conveyancing allows land registries, financial institutions and legal representatives to transact together online at the settlement stage. It has become a far more efficient way to finalise the conveyancing process.

On 11 October 2021, legislation was passed in NSW which legalised the cancellation of Certificates of Title (“CTs”) and the introduced the requirement for all land dealings to be lodged electronically.

CTs are no longer valid legal documents and they are no longer issued. The Torrens Title Register will be the single source of truth as to the ownership of a person’s home. So you might be asking yourself now, how do I show ownership of my existing property or new purchase? You can request your Solicitor or Conveyancer to order a Title Search directly from the NSW Land Registry Services. We do this on all conveyancing and family law property settlement files so as to confirm the correct ownership of property and find information about encumbrances (mortgages) on the title.

Although a CT is no longer a legal document, it is still treated as personal property and should retained as a memento and historical document.

When you wish to undertake any land dealing – such as lodging a caveat, selling your property, registering or varying a lease or creating an easement – lodgement will need to occur online. Our Solicitors and Conveyancers are very experienced in e-conveyancing and will guide you through the process to ensure you have a hassle-free transaction