Property Matters

Property Law:  How to Identify Verification in Property Matters

Laws in New South Wales (NSW) require us to ask for proof of identity from anyone involved in a property transaction or seeking our representation or assistance in any matter relating to real estate. This is done to combat the rising incidence of property fraud in today’s increasingly digitised legal system.

A large number of customers would be affected going forwards, therefore we figured it would be prudent to describe the process.

In the past, we would have asked for a driver’s licence from a client if we were going to represent them in a real estate transaction and we did not know them well enough to be confident in their identification.

In the new system, we need to see the customer’s original driver’s licence and passport, or a number of additional kinds of identification, such as those normally required by a bank when opening a new account. Copies of these identification documents must be stored safely by us for a period of 7 years per government regulation.

We find that encrypting personal information is the most effective approach to controlling the safety of our client’s sensitive data. Our law business, Chamberlains, has made plans to encrypt these files for the safety of our clients. 

In this article, our professional property rights lawyers explain all you need to know about identity verification on property ownership. We believe that with adequate knowledge about private property, the law relating to personal property, common law principles, and your general legal rights, you will be well-positioned to make good choices as a property owner.

When you set up an appointment with our experienced property lawyers Sydney, they will be able to explain the procedure in detail. In order to ensure your safety, the law mandates the following measures be taken.

Identity Documentation Requirements for Real Estate Transactions

Constant alterations and updates to Property Registry Services norms and processes make it crucial to stay current.

Government attempts to phase out paper conveyancing in favour of electronic conveyancing over the next few years necessitate adjustments to the Property Registry Services, as does the reduction of property fraud. Everything is double-checked for efficiency and safety to make sure everything is operating as it should.

Verification of Identity (VOI).

Historically, it has been up to the discretion of the conveyancer to determine what constitutes sufficient information for the Verification of Identity in real estate transactions.

A legitimate photo ID (such as a passport) confirmed in person is now the norm, and overtime law has tightened this procedure by restricting the numerous ways identifying information may be reviewed.

Standards for Authentication Changes

It is the responsibility of the agents representing the parties to the sale (the buyer and the seller) to ensure that all parties to the transaction are properly identified, as per rule 4.1 of The Conveyancing Rules issued by Property Registry Service (previously LPI).

Each side hires an agent to manage paperwork, guide them through the application process online, and negotiate conditions of settlement and payments.

A legal professional, law firm, or conveyancing professional may operate as an agent. Make sure your agent possesses a valid licence to operate in New South Wales. Click here to read about 3 essential reasons you must understand property law.

VOI requirements must be satisfied by all parties engaged in the sale and transfer.

  1. The people who hire the agent (either to acquire or manage a sale).
  2. The individual whose name appears on the deeds and titles

If the agency deems the submitted information to be doubtful in any of the following ways, further identification measures may be taken:

  • The document does not appear to be genuine. 
  • The photograph is not a reasonable likeness. 
  • The names of the person being identified do not match those on the documents. 
  • They feel there is any risk involved in the transfer.

The Right to Make a Deal, under Rule 4.3.

Each and every real estate conveyancing transaction in New South Wales is subject to this regulation, which governs a party’s legal capacity to act on a specific piece of property.

In accordance with this provision, a mortgagee (such as a bank, financial service provider, or agent) is obligated to ascertain that the customer engaging in the transaction is a person of legal capacity.

All transfers, mortgages, charges, leases, and other deals involving real property are subject to the regulation.

Due to the interconnected nature of the two processes, VOI and right-to-deal verification are often done simultaneously.

How far do you think an agent should go to check a person’s credentials?

Documents establishing a right to deal must be provided by the exiting party (such as those selling or leasing property in NSW).

Loan documents, government rate notices, property tax assessments, utility bills with the exact address, and the Certificate of Title. Visit to read more about Laws in New South Wales.

Loan paperwork Contract of sale/purchase

In more nuanced cases, more factors may need to be taken into account; for instance, if a person’s name has recently changed but is spelt differently in several official documents, they will need to provide evidence of the change.

  • New Residency and Citizenship Identification Documents 
  • Acting under a power of attorney 
  • Successor to the registered owner 
  • Authenticity concerns

Those looking to purchase or sell a home in NSW will need to provide not only photo identification but also proof of citizenship and residence.

Sellers will have to reveal their citizenship and legal resident status on the application for the property tax certificate.

The transfer of the property tax certificate from the seller to the buyer is a necessary step prior to closing. The new owner will be able to see if any taxes are owed on the property tax certificate.

A legal conveyancer will know what must be done and how to get it done in a timely way, so hire one.

When getting contracts and transfers stamped, foreign purchasers will need to disclose data about their citizenship and visa status, as well as get clearance for the acquisition from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

The Australian Tax Office will enter any new information regarding the buyer’s nationality to the National Register of foreign ownership of property titles whenever it is received from the NSW Office of State Revenue. On July 1, 2016, the new national registration went into effect.


For all you need to know about the Australian legal system or the Western legal systems as a whole when you are purchasing property or trying to sell one, our experienced property lawyers Sydney at Chamberlains can help you navigate the process with clarity so that you can know what to do at the right time and how to do it.

You wouldn’t have to bother about the property law committee decisions, the same property issues, your local government law council actions, or the necessary things you need to do in the bidding contract, we will help you through it all.

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