Digital technology has revolutionised conveyancing in recent years, allowing the entire process to be handled remotely by email, over the phone and via video messaging. This makes things much faster and more convenient for homebuyers and homeowners, allowing them to easily fit the conveyancing process around their lives.
Now the government has taken the digitisation of conveyancing one stop further with digital land registration, which has the potential to make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper.
What is digital conveyancing?
Digital conveyancing means you will be able to buy or sell a home (or in any other way change its ownership) without needing to submit paper documents to the Land Registry (as has always been required in the past). This will allow for transfer of ownership of a property to take place entirely over the internet.
The changes to the Land Registration Rules that paved the way for digital conveyancing came into effect on 6 April 2018, at the start of the new tax year. In due course this will mean that fully digital conveyancing documents can be used to transfer ownership of a property in England and Wales, with the use of secure e-signatures allowing documents to be signed remotely. At the moment this is limited to a few lenders who are trialling the system for remortgages of properties.
What will be the benefits of digital conveyancing?
One of the key advantages of digital conveyancing is that it can allow the transfer of ownership of a property to be registered much faster – this may be in as little as a day. Previously the process could take several days while paper documents were submitted and processed.
The speed with which digital conveyancing documents can be submitted and processed also means that if there are ever any issues with the documents they can be identified, corrected and resubmitted much more quickly.
Because the process is faster for conveyancers, this means it also has the potential to save you money by helping to keep down your conveyancing fees.
When used alongside online conveyancing, this means you can usually handle the entire process of buying or selling a house, remortgaging or any change to the property’s title remotely, making the conveyancing process even more convenient.
Is digital conveyancing safe?
HM Land Registry’s records were already digital, so the only thing that has changed is that the way they are notified of changes to the ownership of a property. Submitting this notification with a digital document should be no less safe than doing so with a paper document, helping to keep the overall process as safe as ever.
Signing digital conveyancing documents electronically is also potentially safer than physically signing a paper version of the documents. This is because the government’s highly secure Verify service is used to prove the identities of the people signing the documents, helping to minimise any risk of conveyancing fraud.
Ultimately, the most important way to stay safe with any type of conveyancing is to use a reputable, experienced conveyancing firm with the expertise and robust processes to ensure your interests are protected at all times.
To find out more about our conveyancing services for residential property, call us today on 01476 372 036 or use our contact page to find details of your nearest office.