ELE-01 Electronic Conveyancing

Version 1 - 15/11/2021

The information provided in this guide is not intended to amount to legal advice. Professional assistance may be required to determine the most appropriate action to protect your legal rights. Please read our Terms of Use on the Land Titles Registration policy and procedure guides web page. Landgate accepts no responsibility where parties print this guide and seek to rely on information that is out of date.

1  Overview

In 2008, a Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) agreement challenged all states to introduce electronic conveyancing as part of the Commonwealth’s push towards a national seamless economy.

Since then Landgate has engaged with stakeholders to develop electronic conveyancing as an initiative to increase productivity, improve the security and integrity of land tenure information, and bring the conveyancing industry into the digital age.

The Australian Registrar’s Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) is the regulatory structure that was established to regulate the process of electronic conveyancing. The legislation requires electronic dealings to be prepared and lodged via an Electronic Lodgment Network (ELN) that has the capability of providing the facility for funds transfers. The entity that owns the ELN is an Electronic Lodgment Network Operator (ELNO).

The Regulatory framework for National E-Conveyancing consists of the Electronic Conveyancing National Law (ECNL), Operating Requirements and the Participation Rules.

The ECNL governs the provisioning and operation of electronic conveyancing in Australia. It is implemented by separate legislation in each State and Territory. The Electronic Conveyancing Act 2014, (ECA) provides for electronic conveyancing in Western Australia by enacting provisions that correspond to the ECNL and in that way achieve the object of that law.

In 2014, Landgate received its first transaction via PEXA, who was the only ELNO operating in Western Australia at that time. Since then, Landgate has made lodgement of the following documents possible electronically:

  • Discharge of Mortgage (mandated)
  • Mortgage (mandated)
  • Transfer (mandated)
  • Caveat (mandated)
  • Withdrawal of Caveat (mandated)
  • Change of Name
  • Survivorship Application

Paper lodgement will not be accepted for mandated documents unless the instrument(s) cannot be lodged using an Electronic Lodgement Network (ELN) and a completed Request to accept paper lodgement form is attached. Reasons are to be clearly set out in the Request to accept paper lodgement form.

Electronic conveyancing delivers benefits to all stakeholders across the industry by:

  • Determining settlement preparedness of each party well before the agreed date.
  • Eliminating the need to attend settlements in person.
  • Making settlement funds available immediately.
  • Maintaining the accuracy of the Land Titles Register.
  • Providing better security and robustness of the system.

Additional information on becoming a Subscriber to an ELNO can be obtained from Section 7 Access to Electronic Conveyancing below.

2 Useful Links

Information on the rules, regulations and operating requirements can be accessed via the below links:

3  Model Operating Requirements (MOR)

ARNECC has developed Model Operating Requirements (MOR) to ensure consistency across jurisdictions where possible. Each state then adopts its own requirements version to incorporate state-specific legislation. ELNOs are required to comply with the Registrar’s Operating Requirements in each jurisdiction.

In Western Australia, ELNOs are required to comply with the WA Operating Requirements (WAOR).

To review and download the current WAOR and related Guidance Notes please click on the below links:

Links to previous versions of the WAOR are contained in ELE-03 WA Participation Rule, WA Operating Requirements and Waivers.

4 Model Participation Rules (MPR)

In order to conduct property transactions electronically, conveyancing industry representatives are required to become a Subscriber with an ELNO. ARNECC has developed Model Participation Rules (MPR) to ensure consistency across jurisdictions where possible. Each state then adopts its own requirements version due to the different legislation and organisational structure across the states. In Western Australia, Subscribers are required to comply with the WA Participation Rules (WAPR).

To access the current WAPR or related Guidance Notes, please click on the below links:

Links to the previous versions of the WAPR are contained in ELE-03 WA Participation Rules, WA Operating Requirements and Waivers.

Additional information on becoming a Subscriber to an ELNO can be obtained from Section 7 Access to Electronic Conveyancing below.

5 Waivers

Under section 27(1) and (2) of the ECA, a waiver from the obligation to comply with a provision of the Participation Rules and the Operating Requirements may be granted if it is reasonable in all circumstances.

For more information on current waivers that have been granted please refer to ELE-03 WA Participation Rules, WA Operating Requirements and Waivers

Links to the previous waivers are contained in ELE-03 WA Participation Rules, WA Operating Requirements and Waivers.

6 Exemptions

Under Regulation 8F of the Transfer of Land Regulations 2004 the Registrar of Titles may grant an exemption to the requirement to lodge an instrument or transaction electronically.

The Registrar of Titles has granted an exemption to the requirement to lodge the following instruments/documents electronically –

  • Registry instrument exempt from fees under Schedule 2 of the Transfer of Land Regulations 2004.

7 Access to Electronic Conveyancing

Section 4 of the WAPR outlines eligibility criteria to become and remain a Subscriber to an ELNO.

Currently Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) is the only ELNO operating in Western Australia. Conveyancers, lawyers and financial institutions must become a Subscriber in PEXA before being able to lodge eligible documents electronically.

Conveyancers and lawyers can obtain information on subscribing to PEXA via their website at  https://www.pexa.com.au

Following consultation and industry support, the principle of requiring interoperability between ELNOs in the ECNL was unanimously supported by all states and territories in September 2020. For updates and detailed information refer to the ARNECC website or the Interoperability page on the Landgate website.

This page was last updated on: 15 Nov 2021