Bulletin No. 267 | 1 September 2015
Landgate’s Customer Information Bulletin (CIB) 266 advised industry of a series of changes to our lodgement services to come into effect today.
This CIB (267) provides further information about these changes as well as information about other changes to registrations practice consequential and ancillary to them.
Lodging a series of related documents with multiple lodging parties
Joint lodgement of documents occurred when two or more participating parties jointly presented their separate documents to form part of the one case. Each party to the case made payment for the documents they personally lodged and received their own (separate) receipt.
Recent statistics have shown that less than two per cent of all documents lodged over the last financial year formed part of a joint lodgement.
From today, joint lodgement of documents will no longer be available.
Documents that form part of a case will need to be lodged by the one lodging party who pays the registration fees for all the documents and is issued with one receipt that covers all the documents. Most documents that form part of a case are already being lodged by the one lodging party (eg a bank who is lodging a mortgage to follow a transfer of land document).
In the situations where several lodging parties want their documents over the same title to be processed together but wish to lodge and pay for their documents separately, the Registrar of Titles has approved the following procedure that will achieve an outcome similar to joint lodgement:
- All lodging parties wanting to lodge documents over the same title(s) as part of a single series need to liaise together and mark each document, in the bottom right hand corner of the lodging panel to indicate the order eg 1/3, 2/3, 3/3.
- They are all to line up at the same Document Lodgement queue at a Landgate counter in the order they have agreed upon in Step 1 and as marked on the documents. Follower letters, where relevant, will not be required if this step is followed.
- Landgate will lodge and receipt each document separately and the documents will undergo the usual internal processing path.
The procedures outlined above will not require any changes to the way Customer Service employees lodge documents. However they will place lodgement receipts in specified issuing boxes on request. The individual lodging parties do not need to inform Customer Service employees of their intention to lodge a series of documents to be processed together. The Registration System will identify all of the unregistered documents that have been lodged against the same title at the examination stage.
The document examination process will amalgamate all of the documents numbered as part of a series and process them altogether.
If any document in the series is requisitioned, the lodging parties of the other documents in that series will also receive a requisition notice.
Where there is a non-issue duplicate Certificate of Title encumbered by a first mortgage and there is a second mortgage being lodged, the second mortgagee can simply lodge their mortgage without consent of the first mortgagee and without the need to provide a follower consent letter.
Where there is a paper duplicate Certificate of Title issued, the lodgement of a second or subsequent mortgage requires the production of the duplicate Certificate of Title.
Where there is a paper duplicate Certificate of Title issued and a first mortgage has been lodged and is being processed by Landgate, the lodgement of a second mortgage (or any other document that requires the duplicate Certificate of Title) will require a follower consent letter.
Letters of Explanation/Confirmation and Consent Letters
In principle, the Registrar of Titles expects that a conveyancer will submit the originals of any duly executed and witnessed letters that are required to support the registration of a title dealing.
However for letters that explain the inconsistency of signatures in a series of documents, the Registrar of Titles will accept at lodgement a copy of a faxed or emailed letter where it accompanies the relevant documents. In such a case, the Registrar of Titles reserves the right to requisition the document for more information when it is examined if it is considered necessary to do so. It is expected that large differences/discrepancies in signatures are quite rare and that letters of explanation will only be required in a very small proportion of dealings.
While it is true that signatures by the same person vary occasionally and that comparing any two signatures made at a different place and time is generally an unreliable measure of potentially fraudulent activity, the Registrar of Titles cannot make a general undertaking to accept all differences and discrepancies between signatures purporting to be made by the same person.
All other letters of explanation or confirmation presented at lodgement are required to be originally signed and witnessed letters.
Consent letters presented at lodgement must also be originally signed and witnessed letters, except where the consent is from a mortgagee, in which case the signing section of the consent letter must include the full name and position of the person signing on behalf of the mortgagee and does not need to be witnessed.
Recognising that the above provisions are a change in common practice, especially with respect to lodgement acceptability, the Registrar of Titles will accept at lodgement until Friday 25 September 2015 a copy of a faxed or emailed letter, or an original letter that has not been witnessed, where it accompanies the relevant documents for all letters of explanation. As from Tuesday 29 September 2015, the only exception to the requirement for original letters will be letters that explain the inconsistency of signatures. All other letters must comply with the general provisions described above.
Lodgement Acceptability Check
As advised in CIB 266, all paper documents presented to Landgate now undergo an improved lodgement acceptability check (LAC) and documents that do not meet the requirements of this LAC will not be accepted for lodgement. By minimising documents lodged with errors, Landgate is improving processing timeframes and reducing the likelihood that our customers will incur requisition fees.
The checklist used in association with the LAC is attached to this CIB and available from the Landgate website with the two ‘Getting It Right’ guides to assist document preparing parties available at www.landgate.wa.gov.au/practicemanuals.
Change to time allowed to rectify a requisition
The following changes to paragraph 188.8.131.52 of the Land Titles Registration Practice Manual concerning extending the time allowed from 14 days to 21 days will be made at its next update and the revised provisions will take effect immediately.
184.108.40.206 Under Section 192 of the TLA
For all land transaction documents, with the exception of caveats requiring a statutory declaration (see above), a Requisition Notice under s.192 of the TLA will be sent out to the lodging party giving 21 days to satisfy the requisition. If the requisition has not been satisfied within the 21 day period, Landgate will then send a Requisition Warning Notice informing the lodging party and all the preparing parties of documents in the case being requisitioned that the Registrar is allowing a further two days to comply with the requisition after which the document will be rejected (see paragraph 1.14.7).
Note: The Registrar of Titles is able to grant an extension of time for a Requisitions Notice issued under s.192 of the TLA. Requests for an extension of time must be submitted in writing and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The above provisions will remain in place until the requisitions process is reviewed - expected in the first quarter of 2016. Information about any such changes will be communicated through the usual channels and after further consultation with affected stakeholders.
Role of the lodging party in handling requisition notices
Landgate has been sending Requisition Notices to the lodging party only since 20 July 2015. The information below is to assist lodging/preparing/responsible parties to understand their respective roles in the process.
Under section 192B of the TLA, the lodging party has certain responsibilities that the Registrar of Titles is entitled to assume. This includes receiving Requisition Notices. Consequently, the lodging party is expected to communicate with the relevant preparing party or other party responsible for the matters addressed in Requisition Notices. Preparing and responsible parties are able to then deal directly with Landgate to rectify the documents and pay the requisition fees.
Consequently, the expected usual communication channels will be as follows:
- Landgate sends Requisition Notice to lodging party.
- Lodging party attends to the requisition if it is responsible for the required fixes.
- Lodging party forwards the Requisition Notice to the preparing party or other relevant party responsible for the required fixes.
- The relevant party responsible for the required fixes engages directly with Landgate to rectify the documents and pay the requisition fees.
Customer Information Bulletin 266 advised that from the 1 September 2015 Landgate will no longer return case documentation as a standard practice.
The reference to case documentation is for all documents that are withdrawn or rejected from registration.
The lodging party can request that a document that is to be withdrawn from registration be returned to them.
When a document is rejected, the lodging party may request the return of the original documents in writing and addressed to the Registrar of Titles.
I trust the above clarifies the main aspects of this current round of Landgate registration reforms. Thank you for your cooperation and engagement during the ongoing implementation of this business improvement program.
For further information about our lodgement services, please contact Landgate’s Customer Service team on +61 (0)8 9273 7373 or email email@example.com.
REGISTRAR OF TITLES
Contact: Customer Service
Phone: +61 (0)8 9273 7373