HM Land Registry registers its first digitally signed mortgage deed

The 5th April 2018 marked a landmark occasion for HM Land Registry – on this day the first digitally signed mortgage deed was used to register a property.

The registration was part of its ‘sign your mortgage deed’ service which enables homeowners to electronically sign a mortgage deed without the need for a witness. It is hoped the service will speed up the property registration process while making property ownership simpler and more secure for homeowners, mortgage lenders and property conveyancers.

HM Land Registry plans to become a more digitally- and data-driven property registration business in the future, with a strategy in place that will take it up to 2030. Graham Farrant, Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar at HM Land Registry, said: “we have secured a simpler and faster service for the benefit of home owners. We are looking forward to rolling this out nationally and will be working with more conveyancers and lenders to do so.”

It is hoped the new service will solve some of the more tedious aspects of buying a property. Time saving and the risk of lost documents are among these, with mortgage borrowers using a secure log in to access the system in order to sign the deed, thus making the application process quicker. We will soon see whether the electronically signed documents are immune from being lost.

The Land Registry Office was borne of the Land Registry Act 1862, to safeguard land and property ownership which is now valued in excess of £4 trillion, a quarter of which is property that is mortgaged. The purpose of the Land Register is to guarantee and protect property rights in England and Wales. The Register provides evidence of land and property ownership of over 85% of the land mass of England and Wales, and holds in excess of 25 million titles.

Read our article on Registered and Unregistered land in England and Wales.

If you’re in the process of buying a new property, contact your local Property Surveying Chartered Surveyor for a survey.


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