Wednesday, 5 April, 2017
Parties participating in a transaction on the electronic system will no longer be required to physically sign or lodge a dealing document, instead using an electronic method of verification and submission through their solicitor or conveyancer. In addition, property settlements will take place within virtual settlement rooms and the use of cheques will be phased out in favour of electronic transfers.
The plan for the transition is set out in two stages. The first stage, which is already under way, requires that the major banks and other financial institutions lodge mortgage and discharge of mortgage forms via an online portal, rather than in paper form. Meanwhile, paper Certificates of Title submitted to Land and Property Information will begin to be replaced with electronic Certificates of Title (or eCT).
The second stage will commence on 1 July 2018 and will see all mortgages, discharge of mortgages, transfers and caveats entered into after this date being lodged electronically. Land and Property Information will also begin to replace any remaining paper Certificates of Title with eCTs by way of cancellation. By 1 July 2019, paper Certificates of Title will no longer be valid.
Benefits of the new electronic system include a reduction in required paperwork to effect the transaction, quicker clearing time for settlement monies and the ability to host settlements electronically rather than in person.
We will continue to update you on the progress of this monumental change as it happens!