The response to COVID-19 has introduced new challenges for practitioners in meeting the requirements of the Authority and Identity Requirements for E-Dealing Standard (LINZS20018) and Guideline (LINZG20775) where practitioners and their clients are unable to meet due to COVID-19.
This interim guideline has been developed to assist practitioners who are, for the time being, unable to interact with their clients other than by remote means of communication due to COVID-19. It sets out requirements for remote verification of client identity and the legal framework and required standards for the use of electronic signatures.
The interim guideline will continue to apply while New Zealand is in the traffic light system until it is revoked and notice of its revocation is published on Toitū Te Whenua LINZ’s website.
The interim guideline is intended to be an interim supplement to the above Standard and the Guideline while the restrictions related to COVID-19 persist. The requirements of the Standard and Guideline continue to apply, but they have been modified in the ways described in the interim guideline. It is intended only as a guide to how practitioners may meet LINZ standards where they are unable to physically meet with their clients due to COVID-19.
In deciding whether or not a property transaction can proceed in the current environment practitioners and their clients must, of course, consider the implications of COVID-19 restrictions for the other aspects of the transaction, including whether or not settlement should be deferred. Practitioners should follow relevant advice and guidance published by the Property Law Section of the New Zealand Law Society in that regard.
Updates to the guideline dated 29 October 2021: The purpose section and sections 2 and 2.2 have been updated and provide further clarification about when audio-visual technology may be used to verify client identity.