The REIQ have prepared new editions of the four standard sale contracts which have been updated to reflect the commencement of the e-conveyancing mandate.
The e-conveyancing mandate commences on 20 February 2023 which will mean that transfers, mortgages (and other instruments) signed on or after 20 February 2023 cannot be lodged in paper at the Land Registry unless a relevant exemption applies.
It is important to be aware that the e-conveyancing mandate applies to any document (for example, the transfer document), signed by a party after 20 February 2023. This means that unless you sign your transfer before 20 February 2023 the e-conveyancing mandate will apply to existing contracts, unless an exemption applies.
In summary, the key changes in the latest versions of the contracts are:
unless an exemption applies, the settlement of a contract must be undertaken electronically;
if settlement cannot proceed on the settlement date due to the electronic settlement platform being unavailable, the settlement date is automatically extended to the next business day; and
the seller must nominate the electronic settlement platform to be used for settlement.
How does this affect you?
Although most Queensland legal practitioners have been completing settlements electronically for over three years, the recent changes mean that:
developers may need to review their standard suite of contract documents to expressly address e-conveyancing related matters that may arise during the transfer and settlement process;
any developers who have traditionally preferred paper settlements will need to consider the costs and practicalities of electronic settlements and update their contracts accordingly;
buyers and sellers must ensure that their legal representatives are registered to complete settlement electronically to avoid any last minute delays;
buyers and sellers in transactions requiring paper settlement (such as those involving statutory charges) should prepare for settlement a little earlier than usual.
For any in the property industry feeling uneasy about the commencement of the e-conveyancing mandates or requiring guidance on how to prepare for 20 February 2023, Shand Taylor Lawyers were early adopters of e-conveyancing and are happy to guide you through the e-conveyancing process and assist developers and property brokers with updates to precedents and processes.
If you have any queries on these proposed changes, please feel free to contact our property team.
Richard Waring, Director
(07) 3307 4545
Matthew Shannon, Director
(07) 3307 4506
Patrick Sherlock, Senior Associate
(07) 3307 4542