New Electronic Regime for Conveyancing & Property Transactions - PEXA

Wednesday May 29, 2019

New Electronic Regime for Conveyancing and Property Transactions

Traditional paper-based property settlements, where title and transfer documentation is exchanged, are being replaced with an electronic process.

Property Settlements on PEXA

Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) is the electronic settlement platform where the majority of property settlements now occur. In a few short months all property transactions will occur electronically.

Safeguarding your Settlement Funds

In an ever increasing era of online scams HOCW Lawyers have developed rigorous checks and balances to minimise risks associated with electronic conveyancing. Be assured that your property transactions are handled with utmost security and attention to detail and our Accounts team works hand in hand with our Property and Conveyancing Lawyers to verify all account details at the time of settlement.

State Revenue Office - Duties Online
The State Revenue Office (SRO) has also implemented an online assessment system (Duties Online).  The applicable Transferor and Transferee Duties Statements are now created for the parties to sign electronically, thus replacing the old paper-based statutory declarations and statements.

Duties Assessment for complex property transactions

Currently, the SRO requires manual assessment of stamp duty for complex transactions e.g. transactions between related parties/entities as opposed to straightforward sale/purchase transactions. Presently complex transfer documentation must be submitted to the SRO for complex assessment, which can take several weeks to assess. Once the assessment is issued, the stamp duty can then be paid and the paper transfer and associated documentation lodged at the Land Titles Office.  

From August 2019, the assessment of stamp duty for complex transactions will need to occur on the Duties Online electronic platform.  Accordingly, PEXA and SRO have integrated their systems so that complex property transactions, i.e. that require complex stamp duty assessments, will also be lodged and registered through PEXA.

The new integration of PEXA and the SRO Duties Online assessments systems are aimed at providing a more streamlined process with a view to eliminating any delays caused by the paper-based system.

Have you paid off your loan but are still holding an original paper Certificate of Title and a Discharge of Mortgage?

Following a mandatory requirement from 22 October 2016, the four major banks (CBA, ANZ, Westpac and NAB) have converted all paper-based titles in their possession to electronic titles. Consequently, if you currently hold the original title with a paper-based discharge of mortgage and have not lodged and registered these documents previously with the Land Titles Office, these documents will no longer be valid. Please contact us so we can advise you of the steps you will need to take to facilitate an electronic discharge of mortgage and the return of the paper title by the bank to you.

Are you holding a clear or unencumbered (no mortgage) original paper Certificate of Title?

From 2020, a bulk title conversion will take place and all paper certificates of titles will automatically be converted to electronic titles.  Currently, only PEXA-registered entities, such as our law firm, are able to facilitate the electronic conversion of paper titles as part of the sale process. At this stage individuals are not able to be PEXA-registered.

Please turn your mind to the question of whether you would like us to have electronic control of your title, in which case, it would be advisable to call and make an appointment to bring your paper title into our office, so that it can be electronically converted by our office in a timely manner, and well prior to the bulk title conversion.

Contact our Property and Conveyancing Lawyers - Sarah Lindsey and Lisa Yong on 03 9550 4600 for further information.