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Transferring property – the new rules you need to know

by Kathleen Aoki for Australia Post

There are many things to think about when looking to buy or sell property, but have you considered the process of changing ownership of the land title?

As a way to reduce the risk of land title fraud, each state authority is introducing reforms for a new Verification of Identity (VOI) policy.

Read on to learn more about this policy and what it means for you.

What is VOI?

Whenever you’re buying, selling, or transferring property, there are steps in place to help protect the parties involved from the risk of land title fraud and irregular land title issues. In particular, state laws require all parties involved in a conveyancing transaction to have their identity verified before settlement can occur.

State laws require you to have your identity verified before settlement.

The good news is, the VOI policy is creating a framework to ensure that sufficient steps have been taken to verify the identity of those involved in buying, selling or transferring property. VOI is a standardised process that involves face-to-face verification of a person’s identity at a VOI authorised facility.

The purpose of the VOI policy is to:

· Protect all parties to a land title transaction against fraud and other land title irregularities.

· Help professionals comply with best practices and national identification standards.

· Strengthen the security and integrity of the land title system in Australia.

Read more: A legal checklist for buying property

Where does the VOI policy exist?

Many states around Australia are implementing mandatory VOI policies. This legislation already exists in SA and WA, and is expected to be introduced in NSW in 2016. If you live in Victoria, the Registrar of Titles in the State of Victoria introduced VOI requirements for all paper-based title transfers effective as of 9 November 2015.

This legislation already exists in SA and WA and has just been introduced in Victoria.


What does the process involve?

The VOI policy process requires face-to-face checks on each person buying, selling, or transferring property. When a person is undergoing verification, they must provide original and up-to-date proof of their identity, for example a driver’s licence, birth certificate or passport.

Being aware of these new processes means you can be on your way to a smooth settlement.

Along with these documents, the VOI process requires a face-to-face interview at a participating office. The person verifying your identity must be satisfied that the documents provided are authentic and belong to you. Luckily, this can be done at any participating Australia Post branch, which means it is easy to comply with these new laws.

Read more: Verifying your identity with Australia Post

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, being aware of these new processes means you can be on your way to a smooth settlement.