Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Completing the switch to eConveyancing

According to this timetable:
lpi.nsw.gov.au/registrar_general/econveyancing_reforms/transition_timetable

By 1 July 2019 all paper Certificates of Titles in NSW will be cancelled.

That is the final milestone in the saga of converting all the title records in NSW
(and integrating it with an Australian wide electronic system).

Other milestones (translated from the LPI original):
  • August 2017 - Banks to lodge mortgage documentation electronically
  • July 2018 - All forms to be electronic
  • October 2018 - Certificates of Titles held by banks will be replaced with eCTs
  • July 2019 - All paper Certificates of Titles in NSW will be cancelled

Our experience so far has been that while we would like to do the conveyance electronically, the solicitors on the other side of the matter seem to find any excuse to do it using the old paper methods.

The most popular button in the electronic process is the "already started the process on paper" button.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Insurance in Strata property

The body corporate insures the common property.

All that a lot owner owns is the cubic space within the walls of the building – and the contents.

You own and are responsible for the paint on the internal walls, the floor coverings, light fittings, kitchen cabinets and fittings.

Your insurer will be able to help you with this. Look at obtaining Strata Proprietors fixtures and contents insurance.

You should advise your insurer of any special by-law that shifts responsibility from the body corporate to the unit holders.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Priority Notice

A Priority Notice is a notification of the intended registration of specified dealing(s) with land.

Once recorded a Priority Notice will temporarily prevent the registration of other dealings with the subject land.

 

What that means is that if someone is searching a title and that title is currently under a contract for sale then the search will show the notification of that sale. Fraud prevention is one part of these notices. It is expected to increase the likelihood of a fraud being detected.

There are other uses for Priority Notices.

For more information see:

lpi.nsw.gov.au/../2016-14_Introduction_of_priority_notices.pdf

Monday, October 10, 2016

Strata Law changes

The strata reforms brought in by the Act and the Regulations are widespread.

Major changes to the management of strata schemes will commence on 30 November 2016.
The new building defect regime will commence on 1 July 2017.
Lot owners, potential purchasers, tenants, building managers and developers alike need to prepare for the changes.

They will require changes to the process of managing an OC, particularly if the new voting methods are adopted.
Some changes will be immediate, such as the new proxy limits, while others will have a longer term effect, such as including the new requirement that a by-law not be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive (discussed in the February 2016 article).

As with any new legislation there will undoubtedly be testing of changes by way of litigation.

More detail: ecomms.lawsociety.com.au/rv

Monday, September 12, 2016

Cheaper pre-purchase property reports?

Prospective home buyers had raised concerns about the cost of obtaining pre-purchase property inspection reports.
Effective 15 August 2016 the NSW Government has amended the laws to help prospective buyers access information about important reports.

Agents are required to record details of some reports, including pre-purchase building and pest inspections and for strata units, strata (and community scheme) reports. Agents then inform buyers of these reports enabling them to contact the author to ask about obtaining a copy.

Note that the owner does not have to obtain any such reports.

The FairTrading site says the NSW Government supported sharing of reports. They were seeking ways to improve services for consumers through the new collaborative economy (also known as the peer-to-peer or sharing economy). There was a growing trend of businesses using online services to make key pre-purchase property inspection reports available at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible.

See (and if you like, hear) the full details of this at:
fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/../Changes_to_legislation/Property_reports_and_commercial_exemption_reforms.page

For answers to these questions go to:
fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/../Frequently_asked_questions_inspection_reports.page

What kinds of reports do agents need to record and disclose?
What happens if an agent isn’t told that a report has already been prepared or completed?
What does 'reasonably obtained' mean?
What information will agents need to record?
Must vendors, prospective buyers or other parties tell agents of any reports prepared or completed?
Do agents have to keep copies of reports to give to prospective home buyers?
How long will agents have to retain the records of the reports?
Is there a standard format for the record-keeping and providing the records to prospective buyers?
When will agents have to provide this information?
Must agents proactively disclose the records to any prospective home buyer?
Are agents liable for the accuracy of the reports?
Are there any penalties for failure to keep these records?

We particularly noted this question and answer:
How will agents know if these reports exist?

There are a number of ways an agent may know if a report had been prepared:
  • The vendor may tell the agent that reports had been done
  • The agent could ask the vendor if there are any reports
  • The vendor could ask the agent to arrange a building inspection report, a pest and timber inspection or a strata or community scheme report
  • A prospective home buyer could ask the agent to arrange access for an inspection, or for access to owners corporation’s or community association’s records
  • On behalf of a prospective home buyer, a building inspector could ask the agent to help arrange access to a property
  • On behalf of a prospective home buyer, a strata inspector could ask the agent to help arrange access to owners corporation’s or community association’s records.

All this may save a couple of hundred bucks on a million dollar purchase, but the key thing will be if the prospective buyer can access this information straight away instead of the day or two that it currently takes to it round up.