Conveyancing in Queensland has officially made the transition into electronic lodgment.
Titles Queensland announced major changes an eConveyancing mandate, that was executed effective of 20 February 2023.
Titles Queensland said in accordance with the Land Title Regulation 2022, selected instruments and documents must be lodged through an Electronic Lodgment Network (ELN) unless an exemption applies after the mandated date.
The two approved electronic lodgement network operators (ELNOs) that offer eConveyancing subscription services to financial institutions and legal practitioners, include Property Exchange Australia Ltd (PEXA), and Sympli Australia Pty Ltd (Sympli).
Under section 5 of the Land Title Regulation 2022 a ‘required instrument’ will be required to be lodged or deposited using an ELN if it is an instrument or document that may be lodged electronically under the Electronic Conveyancing National Law (Queensland), section 7.
The following instruments and documents are required instruments under section 4 of the Land Title Regulation:
- An instrument of transfer for a lot (Form 1);
- instrument of mortgage for a lot (National Mortgage Form);
- instrument releasing a mortgage of a lot (Form 2);
- caveat for a lot (Form 11);
- request to withdraw a caveat lodged over a lot (Form 14);
- priority notice for a lot (PNN);
- request to extend a priority notice over a lot (PNE);
- request to withdraw a priority notice over a lot (PNW), and more.
QLS Tricky Bits
To help prepare Queensland practices prepare for the mandate, triSearch hosted a webinar on February 3: Navigating the 2023 QLD eConveyancing Changes: How your firm can prepare.
Featured in that webinar, was guest speaker Queensland Law Society General Manager – Advocacy, Guidance and Governance, Matt Dunn.
Mr Dunn covered the general overview of the mandate including the instruments and exemptions. He also identified three main tricky areas of the mandate:
- Signing the Exemption Request Form (ERF)
- QRO and Duties – no change of approach
- Commercial sales with collateral material
Speaking on these tricky areas, Mr Dunn said:
“So with respect to signing the ERF. It can be signed with either wet signature or eSignature. It doesn’t matter who does it, as long as they’ve got authority to sign on behalf of a client.
“With regards to the Queensland Revenue Office and duties. The QRO have looked and said there’s no change to the approach with respect to duties in Queensland.
“This means you’ll still need to do the same process that you would do normally, after the mandate commences, which means you need to do your duty lodgments and your process work in the QRO system and pay the duty separately.
“All of that process continues is as it currently is now.”
“The next one that I’ve got there as a little bit of a call out is commercial sales and collateral materials.
“So what I’m talking about here is for example, the business side where you’ve got transfer of freehold lot, and other stuff that’s not Title documents that need to be settled at the same time.
“So for example, you might have transfers of motor vehicles, licenses, security instruments that are lodged on the PPSR.
“These transactions are much bigger transaction than just the freehold properties transfer.
“However, when you consider item number four in the exemptions in the ERF, which is talking about combined lodgments and instruments where you’ve got other instruments that that can’t be lodged using the conveyancing system and that’s one to consider in that particular space.
“But you really have to have a bit of a look at the particular transaction that you’ve got.
“An important thing to note is that when you’re dealing with a leasehold transfer, you don’t even have to use the ERF because it’s not a required instrument that you’re dealing with. So it’s not that class of of documents.”
Mr Dunn also mentioned that while the Labor Day holiday is a public holiday for NSW and Victoria, it isn’t for Queensland. Meaning the Reserve Bank of Australia closes its offices so no settlements will go through in Queensland that day.
There are, however, multiple exemptions to lodging a required instrument using an ELN. According to Titles Queensland, these include:
- The ELN does not have the functionality to prepare and lodge the instrument.
- For reasons beyond their control, a Subscriber is unable to use an ELN on the day they are attempting to lodge an instrument (e.g. no internet access for the whole day).
- The land registry’s system does not have the functionality to accept or process the instrument.
- The instrument gives effect to a transaction that is not either an ELN lodgement or ELN transfer within the meaning of section 156D of the Duties Act 2001.
- The instrument is lodged by a person who is not a Subscriber to an ELN and who does not have a solicitor/law firm acting for them.
Solution for eConveyancing Mandate
While your practice will need to ready itself for incoming eConveyancing requirements, triSearch has built a simple, effective and safe solution to ensure your workflow is as efficient as possible with our powerful e-settlement tool, triSettle.
Undertaking your settlement with triSearch means we do all the heavy lifting for you. We act on your behalf to complete your Queensland manual or electronic settlements.
We complete all the administrative roles of the settlement while you continue to approve everything and provide professional services to your client.
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide market-leading technology for our clients, triSearch leverages a version of the SettleIT platform.
The service is available directly through the triSearch platform, for all clients to access.
Learn more with how triSettle can help you through the 2023 Queensland eConveyancing mandate period and beyond by booking a demonstration to see the platform today.
If you’d like to watch the eConveyancing mandate webinar, download it here.