Real estate institutes call for e-contracts legislation amendments

Real estate institutes call for e-contracts legislation amendments
Real estate institutes call for e-contracts legislation amendments

All nine Australian real estate institutes have called on the government for changes to laws that will allow contracts for the sale of land and other property-related documents to be created via online forms that are safe and simple to understand and use.  

The real estate institutes have called for the repeal of Electronic Transactions (ET) legislative provisions ("exemptions") which are confusing what procedure should be followed if an e-contract needs to be signed by a company; if a signature needs to be witnessed and, in the case of South Australia only, if an e-contract relates to a land transaction.

A joint submission was made to all Australian governments on November 18, co-ordinated by Tim McKibbin, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales and Mark Morgan, a property partner at Colin Biggers & Paisley. 

Morgan said the exemptions were a barrier to the development of easy-to-understand e-contracts for most property related-transactions including land sale contracts, sales agency agreements, residential and retail lease agreements and property management agreements. 

“The exemptions leave property industry professionals and consumers unable to utilise the existing national ET code as a guide for procedure in relation to the creation, transmission and signing of e-contracts,” Morgan said.

“This has led to uncertainty and confusion as to what procedures should govern property industry e-contract transactions, and as a result has seriously delayed the development of property industry e-contracts that a consumer can easily access by computer and are safe and simple to understand and use.”

“We all recognise the importance of removing the barrier to widespread use of e-contracts and call for changes to Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation to address unintended consequences within the regulations,” added McKibbin.

Tags: 
Residential Market Contracts

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