02 Nov 2020
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, documents submitted to HM Land Registry had to be signed manually in wet ink.
The effect of the Covid-19 outbreak has accelerated HM Land Registry efforts to accept documents for registration that have been signed electronically.
From 4 May 2020 HM Land Registry accept deeds that have been signed using the “Mercury signing approach”.
Those deeds which can be mercury signed applicable to transactions we deal with are as follows (parties must be represented by a conveyancer):
The following steps will need to be taken in respect of remortgages and transfers of equity:
From the 27 July 2020, HM Land Registry now also accept registration of transfers and certain other deeds that have been electronically signed subject to certain requirements. Please see below the following steps from HMLR which should be taken to provide you with an insight as to how this will be dealt with in practice:
HM Land Registry have further commented on the use of the electronic signing platform, and unfortunately they cannot provide any recommendations in this regard, but we have received assurance that they have been liaising with a number of providers, to ensure that their service meets the requirements.
The use of the methods referred to above, should ensure that transactions run a lot more smoothly and efficiently specifically in the current climate and in line with social distancing rules.
HM Land Registry have, however, advised that the methods will still be in place once the pandemic is over, COVID-19 has simply accelerated this new procedure.