- The introduction of priority notices to NSW is one of a number of significant amendments to the Real Property Act 1900, and part of a national transition to electronic conveyancing.
- From 31 October 2016, a person who intends to lodge a dealing to give effect to a legal or equitable interest in land may lodge a priority notice.
- Lodgment guidelines, for the benefit of legal practitioners and licensed conveyancers wishing to lodge or withdraw a priority notice, are expected to be issued in due course.
The move towards the ‘digital transformation’ of the conveyancing landscape in New South Wales recently took a significant step forward with the passing of the Real Property Amendment (Electronic Conveyancing) Act 2015 (the ‘Act’). The Act was given assent on 15 September 2015 and introduces a number of significant amendments to the Real Property Act 1900 (the ‘RPA’) to facilitate the alignment of paper conveyancing processes with electronic conveyancing obligations via the PEXA platform in New South Wales (for example, the introduction of the National Verification of Identity (VOI) framework).
One of these key changes is the introduction of priority notices to New South Wales. New part 7B of the RPA will come into effect on 1 October 2016 enabling a person who intends to lodge a dealing to give effect to a legal or equitable interest in land to lodge a ‘priority notice’. As a priority notice will only be available for electronic lodgment through the PEXA platform, it is anticipated that PEXA will be able to accept lodgment and withdrawal of priority notices by 31 October 2016. Legal practitioners wishing to lodge or withdraw a priority will therefore be required to subscribe to the PEXA platform.
The introduction of a priority notice regime in New South Wales is part of a national transition to electronic conveyancing. Victoria and South Australia introduced statutory priority notice schemes in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Similar legislation already exists in Queensland and Tasmania.
The provisions of new part 7B of the RPA set out the process for lodging and withdrawing priority notices as well as their effect and duration.