From 6th April this year, paper deeds could become a thing of the past, as the government has approved a change in legislation to allow the Land Registry to offer fully digital conveyancing in property transactions across the UK.
Existing rules will be adapted enabling the modernisation of the current land registration system, with changes being made to Land Registration Rules 2003, Land Registration (Electronic Conveyancing) Rules 2008 and the Land Registration (Proper Office) Order 2013.
Conveyancing documents, including mortgages and transfers, will become fully digital after the changes, including e-signatures, progressing towards a paperless system which should make the whole process faster, easier and more secure.
The decision has been welcomed by many in the industry as a way of speeding up and simplifying what can be a stressful and time-consuming process when buying and selling property in the UK. It begins the move towards a much more fit-for-purpose property purchasing process.
Working closely with its customers and launching a public consultation on the changes last year, HM Land Registry plans to use digital technology to make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper while enhancing the integrity and security of the register against threats from cyber-attacks and digital fraud. The rule changes will allow HM Land Registry to introduce fully digital conveyancing documents such as mortgages and transfers, in response to customers’ needs.
The changes will benefit customers by allowing HM 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.
HM Land Registry will be contacting customers in the coming weeks to explain any changes that will affect the way they submit applications, though these are expected to be minimal, and will only affect a small number of customers.
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