The legal profession is grounded in tradition and often ridiculed for failing to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of our society and, in particular, technology. However, our profession is rife with change since the impact of COVID-19. 

These changes have been formalised with the new Land Title Regulation 2022 (the Regulation) which mandates the electronic lodgement (eConveyancing) of certain property transaction documents. If you have bought or sold property in the past few years, you’re likely familiar with PEXA, an eConveyancing platform that delivers a single, nationwide e-Conveyancing solution to the Australian property industry. 

This is backed by the release of the Property Law Bill 2022 which provides for electronic conveyancing in addition to electronic execution of property law documents and implementation of modern language to align with contemporary property practice.

Another exciting change is the likely implementation of a new Seller’s Disclosure Scheme, so buyers are better informed about properties before they sign a contract. 

The Draft Disclosure Document does provide copies of searches and documents usually paid for and conducted by the buyer post contract but pre-settlement, such as rates notices, water services notices, main roads notices, title search and survey plan. This does not currently include flood information; however, this is under review and may yet be included.

This will negate numerous issues property lawyers have during the life of a contract, but we would love to see the inclusion of Building Compliance Searches to disclose if the structures on the property have been approved by Council when constructed.

We have also seen changes in Residential Tenancies from October 1, 2022, which provide for increased protection for tenants in ending leases, changes to make it easier for tenants to keep pets, and increased repair and maintenance obligations for landlords as part of working towards minimum housing standards by September 1, 2023.

These innovations are a welcome change to the property law environment. Our firm look forward to assisting our clients to navigate these changes.


Kelly Dwyer is a partner at Charlton’s Lawyers, Bundaberg’s longest-service law firm.