As a result of COVID-19, work places have taken advantage of technology to work off site, relying on electronic and digital methods of communication and signatures.
Whilst we await legislation changes to allow for documents to be digitally signed, one process has been identified to gain immediate efficiency and move to a more streamlined process.
Consent Letters – electronically signed accepted
The Registrar of Titles and Commissioner of Titles will now accept consent letters in support of land transactions where the written consent has been obtained, either by original wet signed or signed via electronic means. In addition, the signature in a consent letter no longer needs to be witnessed except where there is a legislative requirement to do so.
The evidence of the written consent presented to Landgate in support of the relevant land transaction could be:
- The original, wet signed or electronically or digitally signed, consent letter.
- A photocopy or scanned copy of the originally signed consent letter.
- A printout or scanned copy of the electronically or digitally signed consent letter.
The Registrar and the Commissioner reserve their discretion to request originally signed consent letters, in a particular case or transaction, and the acceptance of electronically signed consent letters is subject to any legislative requirements to the contrary.
The responsibility model underpinning these changes is the same one that underpinned consents provided in paper form and wet signed, that is the:
- organisation who is providing the consent is duly authorised to do so by their client; and
- person providing the paper, electronic or digital consent is authorised to do so; and
- Registrar and Commissioner of Titles are entitled to rely on these representations.
More detail about the content of consent letters lodged in support of land transactions can be found in the Land Titles Registration Policy and Procedures Guide DOC-04 (Statutory Declarations and Supporting Evidence), part 9.4 - Consent Letters.
CIB 155 Item one “Consents on Discharge or Modification of Restrictive Covenants and Easements” of CIB 155 continues to apply and is confirmed.
Landgate will continue to consider and where appropriate implement other opportunities to enable the use of electronic or digital signatures.
Bruce Roberts Registrar of Titles
Susan Dukes Commissioner of Titles