Three different types of money are covered under the Conveyancers Act 2006
Trust money is money entrusted to you in the course of, or in connection with, your conveyancing work. It includes:
- money you receive for fees and charges, in advance of carrying out the work
- controlled money
- transit money received by you in cash. This is money that you are instructed to pay or deliver to a third party who is not your associate
- money subject to a power that you or your associate can use, for or on behalf of another person.
If you receive transit money in cash, you must first deposit it in your general trust account.
You must then transfer, pay or deliver the money as instructed, either:
- within the time indicated (if any)
- as soon as practicable after you receive it, if no time is specified.
You must keep records that clearly identify the details of the relevant transaction and any purpose of the money.
You have ‘controlled money’ if:
- you receive or hold the money with a written direction to deposit it into an account (other than a general trust account) that you have, or will have, exclusive control over, and
- the amount is more than $50,000 or the transaction will not be settled within 60 days.
Note: You do not have to maintain a general trust account in Victoria if you receive only controlled money, or transit money in a form other than cash.
There are strict processes for handling clients’ money, including:
- opening and maintaining bank accounts
- setting up and maintaining comprehensive record systems
- appointing auditors and conducting audits.
Licensed conveyancers who wish to settle property transactions online can use the national electronic conveyancing system operated by Property Exchange Australia Ltd (PEXA). For more information, view our Electronic settlement of property transactions page.
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