As of 1 July 2019, all conveyancing transactions in NSW are required to be completed on the online settlement platform, PEXA. The PEXA platform allows purchasers funds to be deposited directly into the nominated account of the vendor, and the ownership of the property to be lodged simultaneously, to ensure funds are cleared into vendors’ account instantaneously, and that the ownership to the property is transferred in a timely manner.
This change has been implemented so as to bring the legal system into the modern era, and remove the requirement for bank cheques, physical title deeds and the need for lawyers to attend venues in the city to hand over such cheques, before going to the land titles office to lodge the documents. As well as this, it enables lawyers to sign transfers on behalf of their clients, making the process far easier from a vendor or purchaser’s perspective. The implementation of the new system certainly sounds like a promising step in the right direction, however it raises a number of issues, and it becomes more vital than even to ensure that your lawyer protects you from the risks that could arise.
What this means to you
While the online settlement platform certainly can improve this process, there are a number of other issues that it raises, that clients need to be aware of. Cyber security becomes the fundamental concern when transactions involving millions of dollars are done through an online platform. We can not rely on the presumption that an email with account details is indeed indicative of a client’s intentions, thus it becomes more essential than ever that we as lawyers phone our clients to physically confirm these account details, as well as their intentions.
With the number of changes and concerns that we face in the modern world of cyber security threats, it is essential that your lawyer is aware of these risks, and takes the additional steps to verify account details and conduct relevant identification checks, to ensure that everything runs through smoothly.
At O’Brien Connors and Kennett, we focus on ensuring that our clients are protected at all costs, and go that extra step to keep clients informed and protected throughout the process. If you would like to know more about these changes, or how they affect you, please phone us today on (02) 9982 1655, and one of our Property Lawyers will provide you with advice and guidance.