As we all tackle the challenges presented by the COVID-19 lockdown, the Registrar-General of Land has decided to put Landonline e-dealing Compliance Reviews and Law Firm Audits temporarily on hold.
What this means for conveyancing professionals:
While these arrangements are temporarily on hold:
- No new Compliance Review requests will be sent
- No requests for further information will be sent for reviews in progress
- Reviews will be completed where all information required has been received and the review can be finalised with an Unqualified outcome
- No new Firm Audits will be scheduled
- Firm Audits that were proposed have been put on HOLD
- Issue of draft audit reports for Firm Audits where visits have taken place has been put on HOLD
While Landonline is still operational, the decision to put Compliance Reviews and Audits on hold recognises that it may be difficult for practitioners to address these requirements given the disruptions to their normal working arrangements.
We will review the situation over the coming weeks and consider reinstating these arrangements when circumstances change.
When using Audio Visual means for verifying client identity and witnessing A&I forms relevant regulatory standards and guidelines must be followed and, Section 5 of the A&I form should be amended accordingly. For more information please see Authority and Identity Requirements and Electronic Signing of Documents Interim Guideline 2020 – LINZ OP G01247
File notes documenting the extra steps taken to verify client identity are an essential part of your documentation. These should be kept with the relevant A&I forms.
eEvidence connecting your client to the property should be retained where required with the A&I forms for audit purposes. (e.g. Rates invoices, insurance documents, utility accounts etc provided by the client).
How to get it right first time – other hints and tips:
- Sole practitioners – should have a contingency plan in place so that transactions can be completed if you are unexpectedly absent or unable to certify and sign.
- Support network with your peers – discuss best practice and compliance requirements.
- Evidence of checks performed – complete e-dealing checklists (either stand-alone or as part of your conveyancing workflow recording system)
- Certify and signing – make sure you have the requisite knowledge of the transaction and relevant supporting evidence and authorities to give correct certifications.
If you have e-dealing compliance questions please email RGLAssurance@linz.govt.nz.