Professional indemnity insurance
- Section 13 of the Conveyancing Act 2004 requires all conveyancers to be covered by an approved policy of professional indemnity insurance to a prescribed minimum amount of $1 million.
- Conveyancers are required to provide evidence annually that they are covered by this insurance.
- You must always be covered by the appropriate professional indemnity insurance. If your insurance lapses or is cancelled your conveyancers licence is deemed to be suspended.
- The policy must be in the individuals name or a combination of both individual and trading name.
- A licensed conveyancer is required to maintain a trust account in an authorised deposit taking institution.
- All monies received from clients must be deposited into this account.
- A trust account must be audited each financial year.
- An annual return for the period ending 30 June of that year must be provided to Building Standards and Occupational Licensing by 30 September each year.
- The annual return must contain the following:
- name and location of any trust account in which trust money has been deposited;
- the total amount if all contributions to the trust account;
- a balance statement of the trust account;
- a report from the auditor stating the conveyancer has kept proper accounting records and other books during the period.
- Audits are to be carried out by a person who is a member of any of the following:
- Institute of Chartered Accountants
- Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants
- National Institute of Accountants
Conveyancing documents must:
- correctly record and explain the business transactions;
- correctly record and explain the receipts and payments of trust money;
- enable trust accounts and accounting records to be properly audited; and
- be kept for 6 years after the date of the last relevant transaction.
Conveyancing advertisements must not:
- contain information that is false, misleading or deceptive;
- make or imply a comparison with another conveyancer; and
- be vulgar, sensational or bring the conveyancer or profession into disrepute.
Sharing business premises
When sharing business premises a conveyancer must:
- maintain all records and accounts securely, confidentially and separately
- keep any other business they operate from the same location, separate from their conveyancing business
- make sure a business sharing the premises keeps their business separate as far as practicable
- make sure that sharing business premises doesn't breach the Conveyancing Act 2004 or the Rules of Conduct
- avoid or disclose any conflict of interest to clients
Being present at place of business
- A conveyancer must be in charge of their place of business and spend a substantial time at that location during normal business hours
- When operating a branch location a conveyancer must:
- personally undertake and supervise the work done and the conveyancing services provided; and
- ensure all work and communication is given prompt attention
- A notice must be displayed in a prominent position in every office or branch that states:
- the contact details of any other office or business where a conveyancer may be located; and
- if a conveyancer is not there, when they will next be in attendance.