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CIB 385: Further streamlining to conveyancing in WA as amendments pass Parliament

The passing of the Transfer of Land Amendment Act 2021 (TLAA) in Parliament yesterday will further improve and streamline conveyancing in Western Australia, as the state continues to advance electronic conveyancing.

Once brought into effect, the amended Transfer of Land Act 1893 will:

* Remove duplicate certificates of title from WA’s titling system
* Enable the service of notices electronically
* Clarify the definition of counterpart documents

The TLAA provisions will take effect when they are proclaimed which will be on different dates for different provisions.  This is primarily about the readiness to implement or the need to pass separate regulations after the TLAA has been passed by Parliament.

Remove duplicate certificates of title

This change recognises that paper duplicate certificates of title are no longer required and are increasingly out of place, as electronic conveyancing progresses in WA and provides a safer way to transact. 

A duplicate certificate of title has been optional in WA since 1996, after law reform transitioned the state’s land registration system from being paper-based to digital. Currently there are many electronic conveyancing transactions that operate without a duplicate certificate of title. For example, nearly all transactions that involve a mortgage operates without a duplicate title. This is nearly half of all the transactions that are lodged at Landgate. 

Duplicate certificates of title will only be removed from the state’s conveyancing process after consultation with industry and the general public.

Implementation timing:
* Removal of duplicate titles will be 12 months after proclamation by the Governor and publication in the Government Gazette.
* Confirmed timing for this change will be announced by Landgate following a transition period involving industry and community consultation.

Enable the service of notices electronically

This amendment provides an option for notices to be sent and served by electronic means (email), which will streamline informal and formal notices served under the Act.

There will be new regulations created to support the introduction of these electronic notices. Landgate will consult with conveyancing, legal and banking stakeholders on these regulations and incorporate industry input into the changes.

Implementation timing:
* Enablement of electronic notices will be staged in its implementation for different notice types, as regulations dealing with notices are passed and systems become available.
* Confirmed timings will be announced by Landgate during the next 12 months.

Clarify the definition of counterpart documents

The definition of counterpart documents has been modified to improve the processing of mortgages electronically. Provisions for counterpart documents have been amended to better account for differences in the same document, particularly where the document exists in paper and digital mediums.

Implementation timing:
* Clarification of the definition of counterpart documents will commence immediately on the Royal Assent from the Governor of the legislation.

Information and resources on these amendments are now available on the Landgate website

Please contact Landgate Customer Service (08) 9273 7373 or email with any enquiries

Bruce Roberts Registrar of Titles