E-Conveyancing - An Update

Electronic House

Electronic conveyancing has been available for use in South Australia for just over 2 years. Since it was introduced there have been significant developments in the documents that can be processed and lodged on the electronic conveyancing platform, PEXA. Details of some of the updates and improvements are as follows:

  • Mortgages – the lodgement of standalone discharges of mortgage and mortgages, or a combination of both (ie. a refinance) have now been mandated and must be lodged and completed using the PEXA platform.
  •  Refinances – Settlements involving refinances can now be completed on PEXA.  Previously where a person wanted to refinance their existing mortgage by lodging a discharge of mortgage and a new mortgage simultaneously (usually to a different bank) they had to complete this transaction using the paper format.  
  • Encumbrances (Restrictive Covenants) – settlements involving encumbrances can now be completed on PEXA. This includes both the lodgement and withdrawal of encumbrances.
  • Caveats – A number of different types of caveat can now be lodged electronically using the PEXA platform. It is important to note that not all caveats are able to be lodged in this manner. Caveats not supported by the PEXA platform must still be lodged in paper format.
  • Applications to Note Death – an application to note death (where a joint tenant dies) can now be lodged on the PEXA platform.  At this stage this is not mandatory and such applications may also be lodged in the paper format.
  • Transmission Application – these documents are required where a property is to be transmitted to an executor following the death of the registered proprietor. Currently these applications can be lodged either in the paper format or using the PEXA platform.

The result of the expansion of the PEXA platform is that an increasing number of transactions are conducted online. Whilst the number of total transactions in South Australia completed via PEXA is still a small fraction of the total number completed this will only increase as more and more options are made available on PEXA and the government mandates that more transactions must be completed electronically.

The ability to conduct more transactions online allows for faster registration of documents and the immediate transfer of funds to a Vendor following the settlement of a property. Using the PEXA platform also offers some protection against cyberfraud as it reduces the movement of funds between trust accounts.

Clelands Lawyers Adelaide have completed a number of different transactions using the PEXA platform. Please contact us to see if your transaction is suitable for settlement using electronic conveyancing.

Tim von Einem

December 2018