Posted on September 26, 2021 by Frances Tse, Lachlan Penninkilampi and Stuart Simington

Final transition to e-conveyancing coming on 11 October 2021

For some years now, the NSW Government has been effecting changes to property and conveyancing laws to transition from a paper-based conveyancing system to an electronic one.

On 11 October 2021 (‘Cessation Day‘), two major reforms will come into force to finalise this transition.

The first major change is the cancellation of certificates of title (‘CTs‘). From Cessation Day, the Registrar-General will no longer issue CTs and all existing CTs will have no legal effect. The control of the right to deal (‘CoRD‘) system will, consequently, no longer operate.

The cancellation of CTs will not affect any person’s title to Torrens title property. The title to such property is, and always has been, ascertained by reference to the Torrens Title Register, the information about which can be obtained by a title search.

The second major change is the abolition of paper dealings. Version 6 of the Conveyancing Rules and Version 2 of the Lodgment Rules, published under ss 12E and 12F of the Real Property Act 1900 respectively, will come into effect on Cessation Day to require the electronic lodgment of all dealings, caveats, and priority notices irrespective of the date they were signed: Conveyancing Rules r 8.8.1. The rules will also remove requirements with respect to CTs and the CoRD system.

All dealings will be lodged via an Electronic Lodgment Network (‘ELN‘). Dealings which are currently out-of-scope for electronic conveyancing will be able to be lodged electronically in an ELN by being attached as PDF files to electronic ‘Miscellaneous Dealing’ and ‘Dealing with Exception’ forms: rr 5, 10.

These two major reforms will mean that, finally, NSW will operate with a fully electronic conveyancing system on and from 11 October 2021.

For clients, the most significant consequence is that it will become necessary, and not just desirable, to engage a lawyer or conveyancer who is a subscriber to an ELN to prepare and lodge dealings with Torrens title land.

If you have any questions about this blog post, please leave a comment below or contact Frances, Wing Yee Tse on 8235 9711.