6 May 2020

HM Land Registry Announces New Changes To Help Property Transactions

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HM Land Registry (HMLR) has announced changes to its procedures and requirements to assist property transactions during the COVID 19 pandemic. HMLR will from Monday 4th May 2020 accept the ‘Mercury signing approach’ for deeds.  This means that a conveyancer will be able to email the transfer and other documents to the client for signature.  The client will only need to print, sign and witness the signature page and take a photo of that page or scan before returning it to the conveyancer.

Each party will email their respective conveyancer attaching a scanned copy of signed signature page together with the final agreed copy of the document.

The signature page will need to signed in pen and witnessed in person and not by video call.

From 4th May 2020 HMLR has also introduced temporary changes when verifying a person’s ID.

The ID verification can be done by video call and in addition to Conveyancers and Chartered Legal Executives, ID  verification can now be undertaken by people who work or have worked in certain professions including:

  1. retired conveyancers, chartered legal executives, solicitors and barristers
  2. bank officials and regulated financial advisers
  3. medical doctors, dentists and veterinary surgeons
  4. chartered and certified accountants
  5. police officers and officers in the UK armed forces
  6. teachers and college and university teaching staff
  7. members of Parliament and Welsh Assembly members
  8. UK civil servants or senior executive officer (SEO) grade or above
  9. magistrates

It is hoped that these changes will speed up property transactions.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

About the Author

Kiran Walia
Kiran is a senior associate in the real estate/property department. She has over 17 years’ experience in dealing with all aspects of a residential and commercial property.

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