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Electronic Conveyancing

Volume 508: debated on Monday 22 March 2010

Today, Land Registry is launching a formal consultation exercise to seek views on proposals to allow for electronic transfers and to extend the possible use of electronic legal charges (a form of mortgage).

The overarching aim of Land Registry’s e-conveyancing programme is to make conveyancing easier for everyone, with an electronic system that makes buying and selling property less stressful for the public, conveyancing professionals and the other parties involved.

Proposed new land registration rules would prescribe an electronic transfer as an additional kind of electronic disposition of registered land in England and Wales. Existing rules made in 2008 provide for the creation of “standalone” electronic legal charges: the proposed new rules would revoke the 2008 rules and allow for both standalone electronic legal charges and electronic charges accompanying a transfer. There is already provision for electronic discharges. The proposed new rules would, therefore, make it possible, for the first time, to carry out electronically each of the principal conveyancing steps in the typical sale and purchase of a house.

Subject to the outcome of the proposals and the advice and assistance of the Rule Committee, it is anticipated that the new rules would come into force during 2011.

Land Registry has today published a consultation paper “E-Conveyancing Secondary Legislation-part 3”, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.