From 1 November 2011 new requirements come into force in
relation to witnessing documents. Witnesses to documents will need
to confirm the identity of a person that has asked for their
signature to be witnessed on an LPI dealing, application or
The new witnessing requirements will generally apply to
retirement village documentation where residents are registered
interest holders. This will apply to registered leases, surrenders
of leases and notices of death and any other document that an
operator may lodge with the LPI from time to time.
Section 117 of the Real Property Act 1900 requires all dealings,
caveats and applications to be signed in the presence of an
"eligible witness", who also signs the document.
An eligible witness must be someone who:
is over 18 years of age; and
is not a party to the transaction; and
has known the person who is signing the dealing as a party to
the transaction for at least a year; or
has taken reasonable steps to confirm the identity of that
If the witness has not known the person signing the document for
at least 12 months, the witness must:
sight one original of a primary photographic identification
document in respect of the person signing the dealing;
sight one original of a primary non-photographic
identification document in respect of the other person
plusone original of a secondary identification
document in respect of the other person.
The details of what constitute a primary photographic
identification document and a primary non-photographic
identification document are identified in the LPI Circular
which you can view
Operators will need to ensure that every person complies with
this requirement when executing village contracts or any
registrable document. To ensure that this requirement is satisfied,
operators may consider imposing a requirement that witnesses
complete a witness certification document.
Gadens can assist operators to review their internal processes
to ensure that all dealings lodged with the LPI have been witnessed
in accordance with the new requirements and draft a witness
certification document to accompany your dealings.
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