Real Property Law

Overview

  • In Australia, interests in land are regulated by statutes in each State and Territory that establish a registry of land title based on the Torrens system, supplemented by common law principles. Nowadays, transfers of land occur electronically through a process known as "e-conveyancing".

Background

  • Under the Electronic Conveancing National Law, all conveyancing transactions in NSW must be undertaken through an online settlement platform (e-conveyancing) operated by an Electronic Lodgement Network Operator, such as PEXA. Key features of the platform include:
    • Funds of purchasers can be transferred into the selected account of the vendor quickly and with ease and facilitates the timely transfer of the property.
    • Removal of need for deeds, bank cheques and other administrative requirements, which improves the efficiency of practices for the purchaser.
    • Lawyers can now sign transfers on behalf of clients.

Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW)

Real Property Act 1900 (NSW)

  • Part 6 of the Real Property Act 1900 (NSW) establishes the Torrens register of interests in land: Perpetual Trustee v Westfield [2007] HCA 45.
  • Part 7 of the Act regulates transfers and dealings with interests in land, such that indefeasible title is acquired upon registration (Frazer v Walker (1967) 1 AC 569), subject to certain exceptions such as fraud (Grgic v ANZ Banking Group Ltd (1994) 33 NSWLR 202).
  • Equivalent systems exist in other Australian jurisdictions - e.g. Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic) Parts III and IV.

Electronic Conveyancing National Law

  • Under legal profession rules, such as the Legal Profession Uniform Law , which applies in NSW and Victoria, lawyers must adhere to strict obligations regarding the receipt and handling of trust money, even though the money is dealth with electronically.

Regulatory & Policy Framework

Relevant Organisations

Inquiries & Consultations

Industry Materials

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