The Queensland Government’s electronic conveyancing mandate will commence on 20 February 2023. See our earlier alert here for information about the identification that will be required if you wish to buy or sell property after the mandate commences. We strongly encourage everyone to check now whether they have the required identification needed to fulfil the verification of identity requirements for e-conveyancing.
What does the mandate mean?
The commencement of the mandate means that certain documents relating to property transactions must be digitally prepared, signed, settled and lodged with the Titles Office, unless an exemption applies.
What documents are covered by the mandate?
The mandate applies to all transfers, mortgages, releases of mortgages, most caveats (including new caveats and withdrawals of caveats), priority notices (which are temporarily lodged on title to prevent registration of another dealing) and transmissions by death.
What are the exemptions?
There are some very limited technical exemptions which allow documents to be lodged outside the electronic system – however, you cannot simply ‘opt out’ of electronic conveyancing simply because you do not want to use it or if you have difficulty meeting the identification requirements.
Are there any other changes?
Amended REIQ contracts were released on 30 January 2023 to take into account the e-conveyancing mandate. The changes include:
- removal of the requirement for all parties to the transaction to agree that it can be settled electronically – as long as one of the exemptions does not apply, the transaction must settle electronically;
- a requirement that the seller nominates the electronic conveyancing platform that will be used for the settlement. Currently, there are two platforms in Queensland however most firms use only PEXA at this time;
- the ability to withdraw from an electronic settlement and require the transaction to proceed on paper has been removed; and
- a clarification has been added to confirm that messages sent through the electronic conveyancing platform do not constitute “notices” given under the contract.
Gee, that’s a lot to take in
It sure is. Luckily, our Commercial + Property Team have been settling matters via electronic conveyancing for a number of years and have been busily preparing for the introduction of the mandate. We are ready to assist our clients with the transition to electronic conveyancing with clear guidance and experience using the electronic platforms.
If you are involved in any transactions that will be covered by the mandate, we recommend that you:
- contact our Commercial + Property Team early to ensure that you are ready to transact electronically when the time comes; and
- review our earlier alert to ensure that you have all of the original identification documents required to sufficiently verify your identity as a pre-requisite to transacting electronically. If you don’t have those documents now, we encourage you to take steps to apply for them to be issued by the relevant authority sooner rather than later.
For further information contact Amanda Tolson, Director of Commercial + Property.