If you’re in need of a conveyancer to help you complete your real estate transaction, you may be wondering if this type of professional needs to be registered or licensed. This will depend on the State or Territory the conveyancer is operating in. In most cases, you’ll work with a conveyancer who operates in the same State or Territory as the property you are buying and selling, so this is a good guide to work off.
(A good real estate agent will have professional connections to conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors, you can compare real estate agents upfront at LocalAgentFinder and get the expert advice to help you sell your property.)
Licensing is often a sign of professionalism, as is the case with real estate agents. As you compare real estate agent qualifications using tools like LocalAgentFinder, you can find out whether or not agents are licensed to make your decision. When the time comes to look for a conveyancer, it’s also helpful to compare qualifications. The licensing requirements of each State or Territory are as follows:
New South Wales
All conveyancers in New South Wales must be licensed, because they are governed by both the Conveyancers Licensing Act of 2003 and the separate Conveyancers Licensing Regulation of 2006. These regulations stipulate that all conveyancers must be licensed. They are responsible for supervision of the conveyancing business that is carried on under their professional licence.
Professionals wishing to work as conveyancing agents in the Northern Territory must also be licensed under the Agents Licensing Act. This is required to carry out any business within the Northern Territory, and the licence allows the conveyancer to perform a full range of conveyancing work. If the conveyancer wants to perform other types of business, such as leases, encumbrances, mortgages, or other specialties, they can apply for a special endorsement as well.
The Conveyancers Act of 1994 is used to regulate conveyancers in South Australia. This act states that all conveyancers be registered. Registration involves proving that the individual has all of the necessary conveyancing experience and qualifications, along with meeting good character requirements. There is also an insurance requirement that must be kept in order to be registered.
Conveyancers in Victoria didn’t have to be licensed up until 30 June, 2008. The Conveyancers Act of 2006 was introduced on 1 July 2008, however, which changed these rules. After this date, all conveyancers had to apply for a licence with the Business Licensing Authority to conduct their business. Exceptions are made for Australian legal practitioners or incorporated legal practices. To qualify for a licence, the conveyancer must show that they have the right combination of academic qualifications and professional experience.
The licensing requirements in Tasmania are quite similar to those in Victoria, but they came into force at an earlier date with the passing of the Conveyancing Act of 2004. As in Victoria, Tasmanian conveyancers must prove that they are either qualified legal practitioners or that they have the right balance of professional experience and/or academic qualifications. As part of the application process, potential conveyancers must also submit a bankruptcy report and criminal record report. Anyone searching for a conveyancer in Tasmania can use an official Register of approved conveyancers to locate one. By contrast, those searching for a real estate agent in Tasmania can use the free online dashboard provided at LocalAgentFinder, to compare agent qualifications and experience.
The term “settlement agent” is used in Western Australia rather than “conveyancer.” However, the work performed is the same. In order for a professional to become a settlement agent in this region, it’s necessary to obtain a Settlement Agent’s Licence. This is issued by the Department of Consumer and Employment Affairs. As part of the qualifying process, agents must complete a state-recognised conveyancing course as well as two years of qualifying experience in conveyancing.
ACT and Queensland
At the moment, if you are in need of conveyancing work in the ACT and Queensland you must hire a legal practitioner or conveyancer working within a law firm. This is because there is no conveyancing act which allows conveyancers to work independently. Although there has been pressure on the local government to introduce this type of legislation, to this date that has not yet been introduced.
Although these are the requirements within each State or Territory, it’s also worth checking to see if your conveyancer holds professional indemnity insurance. This is because conveyancing is a field in which many things can potentially go wrong.
Comparing the qualifications of each conveyancer or solicitor will help you decide which professional will be the best fit for your conveyancing needs. You will also need a real estate agent working with you, particularly if you are selling your property. You can compare local agent fees and services at LocalAgentFinder to find the right agent for your needs, for free.