There’s plenty to know about Power of Attorneys, but when it comes to real estate, the most important thing you need to know about Power of Attorneys is that they need to be lodged at Landgate before settlement can commence.
This step is commonly forgotten, but it’s vital. Forgetting to lodge the POA can lead to settlement delays.
Settlement agents can’t prepare important documentation (such as the Transfer of Land) until the POA is lodged with Landgate, because the POA registration number needs to be included in the documentation. If the POA documentation isn’t lodged until the last minute, settlement agents have only a very small window of time in which to complete settlement – potentially leading to a delay.
Further delays can occur if the person granting the POA (referred to as the donor) is overseas. When the donor grants a POA, they need to undergo a Verification of Identity check. For donors who are overseas, this involves travelling to an embassy or consular office to be identified by an Australian consular officer.
For some overseas donors, this can be quite a journey, potentially leading to lengthy settlement delays.
To avoid long delays and large amounts of penalty interest, ensure the Power of Attorney is lodged with Landgate as close to the time of signing the POA as possible. In other words, you should lodge the POA documentation as soon as you can.
It’s recommended that two signed copies of the Power of Attorney documents are lodged: one to be retained by Landgate and one to be returned as the client original. Further, if the POA is lodged three or more months after being signed, a statutory declaration must also be lodged to prove that the POA has not been revoked.
By ensuring the Power of Attorney and any other required documentation is lodged with Landgate, you’re paving the way for a smooth and timely property settlement.
Image by Dan Moyle via Flickr.