Land Registry Application Changes to Go Digital in 2022

HM Land Registry has announced that any changes required for existing titles will need to be made digitally as of November 2022. While the organisation has been working to improve its online system for several months, this is the first time that using the digital portal has been made mandatory.

The agency, which falls under the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), has been revising its online system since the initial lockdown of March 2020, further encouraged by the shift to home working. In May 2020, Deputy Director of Digital Services Eddie Davies described the proposed digital updates as ’of critical importance while more people are working remotely’.

As the long-term impact of the pandemic continues with a greater reliance on digital processes, HM Land Registry have expressed their belief that the latest changes will prove positive for applicants.

Man working on laptop

Digital Updates Since April 2021

Launched earlier this year, HM Land Registry’s online digital registration service has been functioning in a ‘test mode’ with less than 10% of title change applications being received since its introduction. The service has the ability to check for and highlight any errors and to create e-AP1s for submission.

In a recent blog published on the HM Land Registry website, Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar Simon Hayes noted that more than 100,000 applications have been received via the online service with a reduction of 25% on mistakes and a 50% decrease in the time it takes to make an application.

Upcoming Changes for 2022

Though many individuals with existing deeds will be familiar with the HM Land Registry digital portal, the shift to a fully online update process could take some time for applicants to get used to, particularly as requirements such as scanned or PDFs copies of AP1s will also need to be digitalised.

In his blog, Mr Hayes urged customers to ‘start now by considering how they will create and submit digital AP1 applications in 2022’, with the option for readers to complete an online survey to express any concerns. Furthermore, Mr Hayes assures customers that the advantages of the online portal – a quicker process and less errors – will be ‘game-changing’.

For new applicants, however, the existing methods of submission remain valid, with HM Land Registry stressing that a specific date has yet to be confirmed for registering new titles online.

Ensuring Your Deeds are Secure

There are many reasons for needing to update your deeds, including additional plots, transference to family members, or to clarify the correct borders. It can also be difficult to keep records updated if they have passed between generations, and cases of unregistered land are still common.

At A M Davies, we can assist with both amendments and making new land registry applications. As an experienced solicitor, Angela Davies has been supporting clients with the HM Land Registry process for many years and is familiar with the digital updates. For more advice, please contact us.