Practitioners must therefore have procedures in place to satisfy themselves personally that:
- electronic instruments are in order for registration, e.g. the correct record of title is being transacted against, the correct mortgage is being discharged, the parties’ names are spelt correctly, the correct mortgagee, memorandum number and priority amount are entered, and
- the necessary evidence to support the matters stated in each certificate is held in accordance with section 30 of the Land Transfer Act 2017 (the Act) - see the Related Content linked below for guidance on how to satisfy the requirements related to each certificate.
The Registrar-General of Land may revoke a practitioner’s authority to give certifications, in accordance with section 29 of the Act, if a practitioner:
- gives a fraudulent certificate
- gives a certificate that is materially incorrect, or
- fails to comply with section 30 of the Act.
A breach of this nature would also contravene the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 (see Rules 2.5) and may result in disciplinary action via the Lawyers Complaints Service.
Checklists can support your certify and sign process
Checklists are a useful tool to help organise and manage your e-dealings, reduce errors, and ensure important steps during the certify and sign stage are not overlooked.
Checklists are particularly useful for sole practitioners as they provide a structured approach to preparing the dealing, and then certifying and signing, when a separation of duties within the firm is not possible.
We have developed checklists to assist with the registration requirements of some common problem areas - transmissions, caveats, and subdivisions.
The New Zealand Law Society Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa’s Property Law Section (PLS) have also published e-dealing workflow checklists for vendors, purchasers, mortgages and discharges.
PLS e-dealing workflow and checklists (you need to be a PLS member to view this content).
Alternative arrangements for when practitioners are unable to certify and sign
Law practices should have contingency measures in place to enable transactions to be certified and signed if a practitioner is absent or unable to act.
In a law practice where 2 or more practitioners have certify and sign privileges, another practitioner can certify and sign on behalf of the nominated Conveyancing Professional (CP). If the A&I form is addressed to the law practice, there is no need to change the nominated CP in the e-dealing ‘Roles’ field or obtain a fresh A&I form.
If you are a sole practitioner, you can link your attorney to your Landonline account to enable your attorney to certify and sign on your behalf. Again, if the A&I form is addressed to the law practice, there is no need to change the nominated CP in the e-dealing ‘Roles’ field or obtain a fresh A&I form.
Sole practitioners should put these contingency measures in place well before you need to use them as you need to authorise the Landonline linking process i.e. add a new user to your Landonline account (if the attorney is not already linked to another firm) or set up a multiple firm association. This may be difficult to do if you are incapacitated.
Part 6 of the PLS Guidelines provides further guidance on nominating a conveyancing professional (see “F”), compliance with rules 2.5 and 2.6 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Conveyancing Practitioners: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008 (see “L”), the process of certification (see “U”), certification by a sole practitioner’s attorney (see “V”), and more.