Nature of reform
Landgate’s first consultation paper on the reform proposal, released in June 2021, received overwhelming support from industry stakeholders across finance, banking, legal services, conveyancing, and property development and from government agencies.
A second consultation paper was released in February 2023 to industry and public for their comment. This paper delved deeper into the reform’s specifics, identifying the legal provisions requiring amendments to facilitate electronic transactions.
The proposals presented in this paper garnered support from the banking, legal and property sectors and from software providers.
The major themes received during consultation expressed:
· Support for deeds to be created and executed electronically.
· Acknowledgement that the witnessing of documents may continue to be required for certain documents, such as statutory declarations, but may be removed for specific land registry documents where certificate of identity requirements are mandatory.
· Encouragement for safeguards being put in place to ensure vulnerable people can also benefit from electronic execution.
This reform is set to transform the way property transactions are conducted, delivering greater choice and efficiency to the industry and consumers alike.
The Department of Justice and Landgate are now developing a legislative reform proposal to support this change, with advice from the State Solicitor’s Office.