Barrier Free Conveyancing

Overview

What is the government doing now to improve the conveyancing process?

From 18 September 2017 the ACT Government is introducing a new system for collecting duty on property transactions.  The new ‘Barrier Free’ model will make the process of purchasing properties in the Territory simpler and easier.

We are working closely with Access Canberra to make the transition to the Barrier Free model as simple as possible.  Please note the following administrative arrangements and key dates:

12 September 2017, from 4.30pm:

The Access Canberra shopfront at Dickson will no longer accept lodgements of conveyance transactions for duty assessment.

They will also cease to accept payments for dutiable transactions from this date. Clients who have not paid before this date will have to pay online after 18 September 2017, once services recommence.

To minimise any possible delays to settlements, it is recommended that where possible property buyers pay their duty and collect their stamped documents from the Access Canberra shop front in Dickson prior to this date. Please note, that you will have to allow time for your transaction to be assessed and receive your Notice of Assessment prior to collecting your documents.

How is duty changing?

Currently, property buyers (or their representatives) have to lodge documents with us and pay duty within 90 days of entering into a property transaction i.e. signing a contract. Once the duty is paid, the transfer of title can be registered with Access Canberra after settlement.

The Barrier Free model moves the point of payment so that buyers pay duty after they register their title. A Notice of Assessment for duty will be issued once the title is registered and payment is due within 14 days.

The graphic below compares the current conveyancing model and the new Barrier Free model, showing how the new model is a shorter and simpler process.

What are the benefits?

The Barrier Free model has many benefits including:

  • Duty is no longer paid before settlement
  • Transactions can be processed faster
  • You can claim concessions and exemptions without a detailed application form

Which transactions will Barrier Free apply to?

From 18 September 2017, all conveyance transactions executed on or after this date and that are required to be registered on the land titles register will benefit from the Barrier Free model.

How are off the plan purchases affected?

Under the Barrier Free model there will be no distinction between off the plan purchases and other contracts.

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