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Land Registry is a step closer to digital conveyancing

The Government’s decision to support the Land Registry plans to increase its use of digital services has been welcomed by Amphlett Lissimore.

At the end of last year, the Land Registry published plans to provide customers with fully digital conveyancing documents, including mortgages and transfers complete with e-signatures. This means that homeowners would soon be able to buy and sell their homes without paper deeds.

The Land Registry claims these changes will make conveyancing faster and cheaper, while also improving security against cyber-attacks and fraud.

Laura Maggs – a partner and residential conveyancing expert at Amphlett Lissimore – said the move would allow the firm to focus fully on what it does best – providing exceptional service to its clients.

Laura said: “The Land Registry’s intention as part of their digital transformation program is for all conveyancing transactions to be carried out entirely online, which has been met positively by those in the industry.

“It has been long since acknowledged that the current processes are no longer fit for purpose.”

The changes, which come into effect on April 6, are central to HM Land Registry’s ambition to be ‘the world’s leading Land Registry for speed, simplicity and open approach to data’.

Laura added: “The rule changes will, amongst other things, allow for conveyancing documents to be executed electronically by users identifying themselves via the Gov.UK Verify Service.

“And although this will not waive the need for conveyancers to carry out their own checks under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, some believe that it could pave the way to a central process and system for ID verification which could see the end of this dual process for consumers.

Laura continued: “These technological changes will potentially remove many administration tasks from the shoulders of the conveyancer which apart from speeding up the process will also allow the conveyancer to focus on the actual service that they provide the consumer, which can only be a good thing.”

Changes were required to the Land Registration Rules 2003, with the revocation of the Land Registration (Electronic Conveyancing) Rules 2008 and the Land Registration (Proper Office) Order 2013, in order to allow HM Land Registry to continue with its digital transformation programme, and modernise and simplify its services.

The changes will benefit customers by allowing the Land Registry to build new and more flexible statutory services that have been called for by the industry, and other electronic services will improve the assistance offered to them throughout the application process.

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