The transfer of immovable property should be done through a new, “paperless, real-time” system, a report released by the Notarial Council suggests.
The consultative document, entitled ‘Heading for a 2020 Paperless Registration for the Transfer of Immovable Property’, puts forward the “crying need” for the creation of a digital system to facilitate the transfer of property without the need to fill in hefty amounts of paperwork at several government entities.
“A system needs to be in place, which in respect of the transfer of immovable property, needs to provide paperless, real-time processing and registration possibilities,” the document reads. The council is also calling for the creation of a digital map of Malta, which various government agencies would have access to, to facilitate its dream of a paperless property transfer process.
The system would allow a person seeking to transfer property to their name, the notary, Lands Registry, architect, Planning Authority, Inland Revenue Department, Public Registry and any other relevant entities, access to their own layer of the digital map. They would then be able to input the necessary information to update the ownership status of the property in question.
Notaries would even be able to sign off on the transfer from the comfort of their own smartphone, the document suggests.
The online system would similarly also allow property owners to look up the ownership status of their property without having to spend a single minute queueing at any government office.
The document makes it clear that architects and notaries would not be able to actually update the data held by the public entities themselves, but would file virtual requests for the data to be processed and approved by the responsible authorities.
The document also calls for the setting up of a notarial hub, which would complement the processing done by the various public entities involved.
It could also provide the necessary services to notaries and facilitate interaction with public entities.