Queensland Law Society

Property law gets some modern love

Date 28 Nov 2012
Contact Natalie Graeff, Manager Corporate Communication
Phone 07 3842 5868
Mobile 0488 433 884
Fax 07 3220 0616
Email n.graeff@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society today congratulated the government on introducing legislation for econveyancing, bringing a centuries-old process into the modern world.

Deputy President Annette Bradfield said the new electronic system, a national initiative, has the potential to add efficiencies to the settlement process.

“We’ve been a supporter of electronic conveyancing for many years now and this is an important step to achieving that outcome,” Ms Bradfield said.

“It represents how conveyancing will be done in the future, so it’s a good move for thousands of Queensland property lawyers.

“Bearing in mind the government’s statement today, we should reinforce that settlement costs are only a small portion of conveyancing fees and it’s doubtful the Bill will materially make conveyancing cheaper.

“This initial pass at econveyancing saves on some costs, but should be balanced against the introduction of other costs.

 “For example, the system will remove the need for physical settlements, but adds new compliance obligations for solicitors as they will be effectively signing property transfers on behalf of their clients.

“Bank cheque fees will be made redundant but there will be new fees payable to the operator and for information supplied by the government.

“The new system will help make settlements more reliable, but will not cure the current issues facing the legal profession in obtaining mortgage payout figures from financial institutions, which are not available typically until the morning of settlement day.

“However, this is a positive step forward for Queensland and the tens of thousands of people who undertake property transactions each year.

“It sets us up for future efficiencies, important for people making the biggest purchase of their lives and many solicitors who practise in property law.”