In brief - Repeal of exemptions will facilitate broad use of
All nine Australian Real Estate Institutes have, in a single
submission to all nine Australian Attorneys-General, called for the
reform of Commonwealth, state and territory electronic transactions
legislation to enable contracts for sale of land and other
property-related documents to be created via on-line forms
(e-contracts) that are safe and simple to understand and use.
Exemptions obstruct development of property industry
I co-ordinated this single joint submission together with Tim
McKibbin, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales. We
lodged the submission in November 2015 to all Australian
Specifically, we seek the repeal of electronic transactions
provisions (called "exemptions") which are confusing the
procedure that should be followed if:
an e-contract needs to be signed by a company
a signature needs to be witnessed
an e-contract relates to a land transaction (South Australia
These exemptions are obstructing the development of consumer
friendly e-contracts for most property-related transactions,
including land sale contracts, sales agency agreements, residential
and retail lease agreements and property management agreements.
The exemptions have created uncertainty and confusion as to what
procedures should govern property industry e-contract transactions,
and have, as a result, seriously delayed the development of
property industry e-contracts that a consumer can easily access by
computer and are safe and simple to understand and use.
Reforms should address unintended consequences within
"The submission represented a landmark gathering of all
Australian Real Estate Institutes", said Mr McKibbin. "We
all recognise the importance of removing the barrier to widespread
use of e-contracts and call for changes to Commonwealth, state and
territory legislation to address unintended consequences within the
Since lodging the submission, I have continued to follow up with
the various Attorneys-General, and I am currently engaged with
REISA and REINSW in direct dealings with the SA and NSW
Warranties can be risk-shifting mechanisms when the party giving the warranty is not the party at fault for the defect.
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