Compliance review and evidentiary requirements

Once your dealing is complete, you need to retain all documentation for ten years - here's a break-down of what to keep and what happens if you’re selected for compliance review.

The Registrar-General of Land (RGL) can request a compliance review of this documentation under Sections 164A(3)(d) and 164C of the Land Transfer Act 1952, and Regulation 14 of the Land Transfer Act Regulations 2002.

A large number of compliance reviews result in re-work for the solicitor and law firm, so it’s a good idea to set up procedures in your workplace that allow documentation and supporting evidence to be easily accessed when needed. Here’s what you need to know about the compliance review process and storing conveyancing documents.

If you are selected for review

You’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire and supply supporting evidence for each instrument certified in the selected dealings. What you need to provide is outlined in the table below.

All supporting evidence needs to be provided to the RGL within 10 working days of the request being received. You can provide this evidence by email or in hard copy (printed documents posted).

What your firm needs to keep and for how long

As a practitioner, you need to hold supporting evidence showing the validity of your certifications for each instrument. You need to retain this evidence for 10 years*  from the date on which the instrument to which the certification relates was lodged for registration.

Here is a summary of documents you need to retain:

Discharge / Withdrawal

On behalf of...Supporting evidence

Bank or Institutional Chargeholder

  • A copy of the completed Discharge / Withdrawal; or 
  • All pages of the signed letter from the Chargeholder
  • Copy of Power of Attorney and certificate of non-revocation, photo identification and consents etc, as appropriate.
Private Chargeholder
  • Authority & Instruction form(s)
  • Copy of Power of Attorney and certificate of non-revocation, photo identification and consents etc, as appropriate.

Mortgages

On behalf of...Supporting evidence
Bank or Institutional Morgagee
  • Authority & Instruction form(s) for registered proprietor(s) or mortgagor(s)
  • All pages of the signed letter of instruction. NB: if the mortgagor and/or property identifier is not mentioned in the letter, other relevant documentation should be supplied.
Private Mortgagee
  • Authority & Instruction form(s) for registered proprietor(s) or mortgagor(s)

*Where a conveyancer is acting for both the mortgagor and mortgagee (as is normal practice), both authorities will need to be produced.

Transfers

On behalf of...Supporting evidence
Transferor
  • Transferor Authority & Instruction
Transferee
  • Transferee Authority & Instruction

How to store documents

There is no right or wrong way to hold the information. When deciding how best to do this for your firm, you’ll weigh up size and cost of storage, ability and ease of access, retrieval and staff time to find the most efficient solution.

We recommend retaining all original documents on the client file and, if possible, scanning to create an additional electronic copy of the client file.

To make it easy:

  • Make sure documentation and active client files from the past 6 months are stored in a way that allows easy retrieval. Most compliance reviews will relate to dealings that happened in the past 6 months.
  • A compliance review request will identify the dealing number and client reference (if one was provided in the original dealing), so think about how to make these references part of your paper or electronic filing system.
  • If a compliance review is done, bundle these documents and store at the front of the client file. Some firms prefer to keep all compliance review bundles in a separate file.
  • Be aware of issues relating to the destruction of paper files. For example, some mortgagees require the original Authority & Instruction to be held, so you may need to provide them with a duplicate or certified copy of the A&I, or modify the Solicitor’s Certificate to state that the A&I will be held electronically.

Avoid common mistakes

When providing documentation for a compliance review, avoid some of the common pitfalls:

  • Authority to register a transfer – Retain Authority and Instruction (A&I) forms completed by both the transferor(s) and transferee(s).
  • Registration of a new mortgage – Remember to include an authority from the mortgagee, as well as the A&I form completed by the mortgagor.
  • Authority for discharge of mortgage – Provide evidence of appropriate authorities. 
  • Client identity – Attach a copy of the form of photo ID used to identify the client (where applicable) to the A&I form.
  • Power of Attorney - A copy must be supplied together with a certificate of non-revocation if an A&I form is being completed by someone acting as attorney.
  • Solicitor party to the transaction - If a solicitor is a party to the transaction, he or she need not personally complete an A&I form if signing and certifying the instrument in his or her own right. If a solicitor is a party to the transaction, he or she should avoid certifying or acting on behalf of others in the same transaction, where this could give rise to a conflict of interest.

What if I don’t pass the compliance review?

If we find areas where more work is needed, we will email you (the certifying practitioner) asking for more information and outlining what needs to be provided.

Last Updated: 27 November 2015