HM Land Registry has taken a major step to fulfilling the automation ambitions outlined in its Strategy 2022+ published in the summer. Applications submitted using the HM Land Registry customer portal are now digital by default, using the Digital Registration Service.
This move away from paper-based electronic applications means that rather than a scan or a PDF, the details of the application are entered directly into the service, capturing the data digitally. Digital data is more structured, accurate and will enable HM Land Registry to automate more applications.
The move to digital by default has been supported by the first major redesign to the customer portal since it was launched in 2009.
Deputy Director for Digital Services Eddie Davies commented: “Our objective is to support the development of a simpler, paperless, transparent and user-friendly process for buying and selling property. This update to the portal, and the move to digital by default, is a major milestone in achieving this objective through greater automation which we hope will ultimately lead to better services and quicker applications.
“By automating services, we expect to significantly improve completion of straightforward transactions with an ambition to return to same-day applications for many.”
HM Land Registry announced its intention to go digital in October 2021. A digital application is one submitted through the Digital Registration Service in the HM Land Registry portal or via legal software connected to HM Land Registry’s application programming interface (API) service Business Gateway.
Rather than a scan or a PDF, the details of the application are entered directly into HMLR services or via legal software, capturing the data digitally.
Digital applications see fewer errors and requisitions and help speed up the process of land registration.
From 30 November 2022, digital applications will be the default for business customers submitting applications to change the register.
Customers submitted more than 1.3 million digital applications through the portal and HMLR’s APIs between October 2021 to September 2022, and since the start of the year, the Digital Registration Service has received over half a million applications. HMLR reports that requisitions for incorrect name and fee errors have fallen nearly 40% for applications submitted through the Digital Registration Service.
In the spring of this year the Digital Registration Service received the Real IT Award for Delivering Excellent Customer Service for the second year running.
HM Land Registry is a government department created in 1862. Its mission is to guarantee and protect property rights in England and Wales, and it aims to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data.
HM Land Registry safeguards land and property ownership valued at £8 trillion, enabling over £1 trillion worth of personal and commercial lending to be secured against property across England and Wales.
The Land Register contains more than 26 million titles showing evidence of ownership for more than 88% of the land mass of England and Wales.
See also: Forming a Limited Company to Manage Property