Frequently asked questions about client Authority and Instruction (A&I) forms.
Several customers have raised queries regarding the question “Is the transaction high risk” when generating a Private Individual or Private Corporate A&I form in Landonline. Currently:
- If No is ticked, a sentence about the number of years the client is previously known appears;
- If Yes is ticked, a statement about a connecting document and file note appears.
We have not changed the guidance or the requirements for High Risk transactions:
LINZG20775 Authority and Identity Requirements for E-Dealing Guideline 2018
The options that now appear in Landonline relate to the two alternative ways of satisfying practitioner obligations when the transaction is, on the face of it, High Risk as defined in s4.2.1:
- “No” may be ticked if the client is personally known and you consider this mitigates an otherwise high risk transaction, so that it is no longer high risk (see s188.8.131.52 for further guidance).
- Alternatively, “Yes” may be ticked for High Risk transactions where the high risk is being mitigated via connecting documents (see s4.3) and any additional actions taken to independently verify the identity of the client, that must be recorded in a file note (see s4.2.2).
If the transaction is not, on the face of it, High Risk (e.g. a Transmission or Variation of Mortgage) – you should tick “No” and, because it’s a mandatory field in Landonline, enter a number in the years box. However, you can then remove the sentence and number of years from the A&I form by editing the form in the usual way. Or, by putting a line through the wording if you have displayed it on the printed form.
We are looking at ways to make this clearer on the forms and will provide a further update here as soon as possible.
We have also been asked why you need to state the number of years you have known the client, and how accurately to reflect this. The reason for this relates to s184.108.40.206 of the Guideline, that it may be unreasonable to claim personal knowledge if the client has only recently become a client. If however, you are relying on a short period of time your reasoning should be recorded in a file note.
You may choose to record:
- the actual length of time you’ve known the client; or
- a shorter period you’re relying on to claim personal knowledge (e.g. if you’ve known a client for at least 10 years but don’t know exactly when they became a client, editing the form to "at least 10 years” is acceptable).
The period can be recorded as a decimal conversion of years/months, or in years/months by editing the form once it is saved to your computer.
Does a client’s A&I form expire?
A signed A&I form does not expire and there is no limitation on how long you can rely on the A&I form. In the A&I forms approved by the New Zealand Law Society and Registrar-General of Land, the client irrevocably authorises and instructs the firm to register the instruments as an e-dealing (for example see section 4(e) of the Private Individual A&I form).
However, regardless of whether a client has signed an approved A&I form or a different form of authority, the certifying practitioner should always consider whether the client’s authority and instruction is still valid at the time they come to certify the related instrument. It is up to the certifying practitioner to determine whether it is still appropriate to certify that they have proper authority to proceed, in light of the client's original instructions and any relevant issues or change of circumstances since the A&I form was signed, or whether it is better to have the client sign a new A&I form.
Can I complete the A&I form in Landonline?
Yes, the A&I form can be completed within Landonline. The screen is accessed by using the A&I button situated on the Create Dealing screen. Once in this screen you can select the type of A&I form you require. It is advisable to prepare the instruments in the dealing first as details from those instruments will be pulled through to populate the A&I form minimising duplication errors. The details can then be amended within the form if necessary. The form then needs to be printed and signed in the normal way.
Why hasn't some of the information needed to complete the A&I form been entered into the document?
Only information held within Landonline will pre-populate the newly created A&I form. Extra information can be added manually into the document before printing or saving it to your own computer.
I created an A&I form within Landonline but now can't find it.
If you use Landonline to create and pre-populate an A&I form you will need to either print the form or save it to your own computer. The completed form will not be saved in Landonline and therefore is not available at a later date unless saved onto your own computer.
Who needs to sign the A&I form for a trust when the trust is made up of private individuals and a trustee company?
Authorisation must be obtained from each registered owner, including the trustee company. As the certifications are different between a private individual and a corporate, separate A&I forms must be used.
What do I need for a change of trustee or addition of trustee?
An A&I form is required from all transferors and all transferees. If a party is both a transferor and transferee, one A&I form, listing both roles, is sufficient.
Three of the trustees have signed the A&I form but I now realise there are four trustees in total. I have already submitted the dealing, what should I do?
Obtain a properly completed A&I form from the fourth trustee as soon as possible. Failure to obtain and hold such authority is a very serious issue and may result in revocation of e-dealing certification rights.
What A&I's are required for a change of trustees (i.e. A,B & C to A,B & D)?
One A&I form can be used for a person (if the person is both transferor and transferee) as long as this information is included in the A&I description.
Who signs the A&I form when the client is an undischarged bankrupt?
If your client is bankrupt, you may need authority to proceed with the transaction.
Which A&I form is used and who is responsible for signing for a society?
The Private Corporate A&I form (with any necessary modifications) is the most appropriate.
The person/s authorised to sign on behalf of the society according to its rules and any governing statutory requirements should sign the A&I (i.e. the same person who would have signed for the society in the paper environment).
Does the A&I need to be notarised if signed overseas?
If practical, you should personally witness the A&I being signed.
However, if it is not practical to witness the signing, it can be witnessed by a delegate – see section 4.6 of the Authority and Identity Requirements for E-dealing Guideline 2018 – LINZG20775. Your delegate does not need to be a notary public but you will need to ensure that the delegate is an appropriate person to rely upon given as the signing practitioner, you are ultimately responsible for the certifications made in the dealing.
In limited circumstances you may also be able to use audio-visual technology.
When relying on a delegate to verify identity, you must:
- Record a file note explaining how the delegate is an independent trusted person on whom you can reasonably rely, and
- Retain it with the A&I form as evidence in support of your certifications under section 30(1) of the Land Transfer Act 2017.
Who in the local authority needs to sign the A&I form?
The council officer who would have signed the paper instrument (Authorised Signatories).
Who signs the A&I form if just one owner is transferring their share/interest?
The person for whom you are acting.
What is needed for a mortgage?
An A&I form is required from the mortgagor as well as a letter of instruction from the mortgagee. If the mortgagee is a private individual or is not an ‘institutional chargeholder’, then an A&I form is required from the mortgagee.
I have submitted an e-dealing without first getting an A&I form completed... what should I do?
Obtain a properly completed A&I form as soon as possible. Failure to obtain and hold such authority is a very serious matter and may result in revocation of e-dealing certification rights. See also the guidance above for Can I complete the A&I form in Landonline?
Do I need an A&I form to discharge a mortgage where the mortgagee is a government department?
No. A properly executed discharge document in the traditional form will suffice as evidence of authority for the discharge. A government department falls within the category of 'institutional chargeholder'.
When the ASP was signed, it listed the purchasers as well as 'or nominee'. The A&I was signed with the purchaser's name but the purchaser now has changed his mind and wants a nominee to become the owner. Surely I don't have to do another A&I as the ASP already has 'or nominee' on it.
An A&I in the name of the transferee is preferable but if 'or nominee' is included on the A&I and there is evidence of the nomination then a new A&I is not required. Evidence would include a copy of a letter or email confirming the nomination or Sale Notice noting the correct names.
My vendor client is signing an A&I form today but in the future, the purchaser listed on the A&I form may change to a nominee trust or company. What should I do?
The vendor A&I form should name the purchaser and include the words ‘and/or nominee’ to show that a nomination may occur.
If a nomination by the purchaser then takes place, ensure you attach to the vendor A&I form a clear paper trail evidencing the nomination that has occurred, for example a copy of a letter or email confirming the nomination or Sale Notice noting the nominee.
Do I need a separate A&I for each instrument or can I use one A&I for all the dealing (e.g. Discharge, Transfer and Mortgage)?
The A&I can be used to authorise a combination of instruments, provided these matters are clearly set out in the form.
Is an A&I required from a solicitor who is party to the transaction and certifying the e-dealing and can that solicitor verify the identity of other parties in the transaction?
An A&I form is not required from a practitioner if they are certifying an instrument on their own behalf (i.e. they are a party to the instrument). It would be prudent for that practitioner to keep a file note that they have not completed an A&I form and why.
The practitioner should not then complete the proof of identity section for the other parties to the transaction. This is analogous to not being able to witness a paper transfer that you are a party to.
Does the client need to sign an A&I for a bank discharge?
No, as the discharge from the bank is sufficient authority. It may be included in the A&I with the other instruments to give the client the 'full picture' but it is not mandatory.
Can two or more owners sign the same A&I?
Yes. If there are multiple signatories who are in different locations it may be more expedient to have separate A&Is signed. If so, it assists subsequent tracking to note that the A&I is one of two forms for that dealing.
When is an A&I required by the local authority?
A Public Corporate A&I is required for the following instruments:
- Template Instruments (A&I or authorisation required)
- Image Only Instruments Requiring Certifications (A&I required)
For more information please refer to a full list of Instruments.
What instruments need an A&I form?
Refer to the Instrumentspage.
Is an A&I form required for Court Orders and Statutory Land Charges?
Although Court Orders and statutory land charges are now capable of electronic registration with certifications, an A&I form is not required. The certifications related to these instruments relate to the correctness of instruments, rather than identity and authority matters. This exception also applies to instruments lodged under the Retirement Villages Act 2003 and orders of the Māori Land Court. For more information about which instruments require an A&I form refer to the Instruments page.
Do I need separate A&I forms from both sides?
You only need an A&I form for the people for whom you are acting. If you are acting for both sides, the A&I form can be combined into one as long as it clearly identifies the capacity in which each party is signing.
Can I rely on a copy of a letter of instruction, loan agreement or Deed of Settlement as authority for a private mortgagee?
No. A Private Individual or Private Corporate A&I form should be obtained for a private mortgagee. This ensures appropriate steps are taken to verify the identity of the client. (A letter of instruction is only acceptable from an institutional chargeholder – e.g. bank, building society etc. A loan agreement or Deed of Settlement is never suitable evidence of authority to register a mortgage, for any mortgagee.)
What are the requirements for identifying a client in an e-dealing?
The Authority and Identity Requirements for E-Dealing Guideline 2018 – LINZG20775 (the Guideline) and Authority and Identity Requirements for E-Dealing Standard 2018 – LINZS20018 set out the requirements for verifying identity and authority for e-dealings.
See also Proof of identity for e-dealings.
What do I need to do if my client’s name recorded on their photo ID does not match the title?
You must reconcile the discrepancy. Section 4.4 of the Guideline sets out these requirements
Do I need to provide a copy of the A&I form to my client or the bank?
You should provide a copy to your client to cover disclosure issues. Neither LINZ nor the New Zealand Law Society require you to provide a copy to the bank as this is authority for you to act on behalf of your client.
If there are extra clauses added to the instrument in an e-dealing should they be included in the A&I form?
This is not required by LINZ as it is in the instrument already.
However, your professional obligations still apply, meaning you will need to ensure that your client is aware of any extra clauses. You can choose to add them directly to the A&I form when you preview it in Landonline, enter the clause in your standard A&I template, or add another page to your A&I form.
Do A&I forms need to be changed to incorporate the extra details when adding text and images?
No, LINZ does not require you to show the details of text or images on the A&I form for compliance. You do still need to make sure that you are meeting your legal obligations and disclosure to your client.
What would be the date and nature of the base document if a client is transferring to themselves?
There is no need to have this in the A&I form if there is no background documentation.