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Norman Waterhouse

New certification requirements for Land Management Agreements

On 15 March 2021, the Registrar-General revoked the discretion that had previously allowed land management agreements (LMAs) (in addition to certain other dealings) to be exempt from the requirements of section 273(1) of the Real Property Act 1886. You can view the Notice to Lodging Parties here.

The result of this revocation is that, pursuant to section 273(1) the Real Property Act 1886 (SA) (the Act), the Registrar General will soon refuse to note an LMA against a Certificate of Title unless a prescribed person[1] has provided certification in the appropriate form.

Prior to providing certification, Norman Waterhouse (or any other solicitor or conveyancer), must verify the identity of any party applying for the notation of an LMA and must hold a duly signed client authorisation for that LMA prior to lodgement.

Verification of Identity

The Registrar- General’s Verification of Identity Requirements dictate that prescribed persons must take “reasonable steps” to verify the identity of the person on whose behalf an application is made to note an LMA. For councils, this will be the person or persons with the relevant delegated authority to sign LMAs on behalf of the council, or the Mayor and Chief Executive Officer if LMAs are signed as deeds under seal.

Verification of Identity requires a face-to-face meeting (which for the time being may be undertaken by videoconference) in which identification documents are provided to confirm identity. There are different classes of documents that will be sufficient, however the most common are a valid Australian Passport and current South Australian driver’s licence.

Once someone’s identity has been verified, this remains valid for a period of two years from the date of verification.

Client Authorisation

A Client Authorisation is also required, to authorise the LMA to be lodged (and certified) on a council’s behalf. These can be one-off authorisations for each LMA, or what are known as “standing” authorisations, which can last for a specified time and can cover all LMAs.

When does this apply?

The above requirements apply immediately to LMAs, in preparation for the transition to electronic lodgement in the future.

However, to assist with the transition to this new protocol, the Registrar-General has allowed a grace period. Any paper LMAs “in the pipeline” will be accepted in the old format until 14 June 2021. However, beyond that date, any non-compliant LMAs must be accompanied by a letter providing an explanation and requesting they be accepted.

So what now?

We encourage any council that commonly deals with LMAs to contact us as soon as possible so we can complete the necessary steps.

For more specific information on any of the material provided above, please contact Jack McPhee on +61 8 8217 1357 or


13 April 2021



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