E-Conveyancing – do you need to take action before 1 July 2019?

Since August 2017, New South Wales has been transitioning to electronic conveyancing. Unlike Bob Dylan’s abrupt electric transition in 1965 which left fans booing his performance at Newport Folk Festival, the electronic conveyancing transition has been slow and steady with the Government wanting to “bring everyone on the journey”. In a few weeks’ time, we will pass one of the critical stops on this journey.

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What do I need to know?

From 1 July 2019, the following property dealings will generally need to be lodged electronically via the online conveyancing platform, PEXA:

  • Transfers;
  • Mortgages;
  • Discharges of mortgages;
  • Caveats;
  • Withdrawals of caveats; and
  • Transmission applications.
Do I need to do anything?

Sometimes people pay out a mortgage, but never quite get around to formally registering the discharge of mortgage on title.  We have clients who have come to us with 20 year old discharges that have been sitting in their filing cabinet which they planned to register when they sold their property one day.  If this is you, and the discharge is undated, we recommend you register the discharge with NSW Land Registry Services before 1 July 2019.  After this date, an undated dealing will be deemed to be dated after 1 July 2019 unless evidence to the contrary is provided.  This may mean that you will need to liaise with your lender about arranging additional paperwork or an electronic discharge of the mortgage.  In cases where the mortgage has been paid out some time ago, this may be difficult or time consuming.

What’s the next stop on the journey?

While 1 July 2019 is a critical stop, the journey doesn’t end there.  From 1 July 2020, more dealings will have to be lodged online including:

  • Leases;
  • Notices of death; and
  • Changes of name.

NSW Land Registry Services is constantly widening its scope of documents that are capable of online lodgement and it is expected that this list may expand by 1 July 2020.

About us

Elizabeth McDonald, Principal leads the Property and Planning Team at SWS Lawyers. For recent news from this team, including our e-alert series on easements, please click here.

This article is not legal advice.  It is intended to provide commentary and general information only.  Access to this article does not entitle you to rely on it as legal advice.  You should obtain formal legal advice specific to your own situation.