HM Land Registry to accept electronic signatures

By Chris Maddison, a Director in the residential property team at BTMK

Transfers of ownership of property, leases, mortgages and other property dealings can now be signed electronically, making it simpler and faster for people to move home.

Conveyancing can be, and is often, seen as archaic. Most of the process is still conducted on paper and it seems many have tried and failed to bring it into the digital era.

However the fact that HM Land Registry have introduced the use of eSignatures, demonstrates a small step, in the right direction, to modernise this ‘old fashioned’ sector.

From Monday (27th July 2020) HM Land Registry will accept eSignatures (witnessed electronic signatures). Essentially this is a digital signature on a legal document which will still require an independent, unrelated witness to be present at the time of signing who will also sign the document digitally.

Simon Hayes, Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar said on Monday:

“What we have done today is remove the last strict requirement to print and sign a paper document in a home buying or other property transaction. This should help right now while lots of us are working at home, but it is also a keystone of a truly digital, secure and more efficient conveyancing process that we believe is well within reach. The more sophisticated qualified electronic signatures are a part of that vision and encouraging those is where our attention will be directed next. I’d like to thank everyone who responded to our consultation on the guidance. This has helped to ensure this new witnessed electronic signature process works for everyone.”

This ‘leap’ in technology was brought about under close scrutiny of conveyancers and others in the sector, from whom advice was sought.

We have one of the most experienced residential property teams in Essex, dealing with hundreds of property transactions each month. Our teams work tirelessly to provide a brilliant service, whether you’re a first time buyer or an experienced investor and we’ll always make time to go through any questions you have.

BTMK can be contacted for all property matters at info@btmk.co.uk, by telephone (24/7) on 03300 585 222 and quotes can be obtained through our website at https://www.btmksolicitors.co.uk/personal-law/residential-property-conveyancing/

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