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Sunday 22 April 2018

Buying or selling a house? New system will 'reduce legal time delays dramatically'

The e-conveyancing system will speed up house sales
The e-conveyancing system will speed up house sales

Sarah-Jane Murphy

The process of buying or selling a house in Ireland will soon be significantly quicker with the introduction of a nationwide electronic conveyancing system.

Conveyancing is the legal work involved in buying or selling property.

The Law Society of Ireland, who are responsible for the project, say that the new e-conveyancing system could reduce the total transaction time to as little as five days.

Currently, the average transaction time is 22 weeks.

The Law Society told that the approximate roll-out date for the project is early 2018.

Industry insiders say that secure and swift system links between solicitors acting for buyers and sellers, and the lending banks, will be hugely beneficial.

The e-conveyancing system will simplify what can be a difficult and time consuming part of the conveyancing process at present.

Director of the Law Society Ken Murphy said "The system will enable improved speed, predictability and efficiency, significantly reducing the time it will take to complete a residential and commercial property conveyance."

"The administrative costs will also decrease, while opportunities for fraud or errors will be virtually eliminated."

Under the new system contracts for sale will be digitally signed and securely stored.

The Law Society of Ireland recently entered into an agreement with a Canadian company, Teranet, to design and build the necessary software.

The Property Registration Authority (PRA) and the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) are actively involved in the project.

Read More: 100,000 could benefit from mortgage switch but many don't bother

Noel Brett, chief executive of BPFI, said that his member banks were “fully committed to the introduction of e-conveyancing."

He said they would “make the necessary investment in internal bank systems, work-flows and staffing to enable lenders to participate fully in e-conveyancing”.

Engagements with other stakeholders such as the Revenue Commissioners, auctioneers, the Department of Justice and Equality, law

searchers, and case-management providers have already taken place.

The Government made a pledge to deliver the e-conveyancing system as part of their construction 2020 strategy.

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