Law Geeks: Land Registry joins the modern world

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The Land Registry has faced its share of challenges over the past few months, moving all its staff to home working and getting to grips with its growing backlog of applications. So it’s genuinely exciting to discover that they have also been working hard to improve their business offering and turn essentially a database-led offering into a user-based channel.

Customers were recently given a first peek at the “View my Application” service in a webinar, with the service itself to be rolled out over the next few weeks with the aim of being available to all users by the end of the summer. “View my Application” is a new beta service within the business e-portal that enables users to access detailed status information about every application they have lodged in one place. It will enable conveyancers to respond to client queries about applications with greater accuracy and speed, and enable them to keep a closer track on application progress and unanswered requisitions. Much of the information is already available, over different parts of the portal or sent directly to users by email, but this will consolidate all the information in one place in an easy-to-use format. This will lead to a more efficient experience for users and will inevitably reduce wasted time costs for all parties (including the beleaguered Land Registry hotline operators).



As a brand new function, the Land Registry will also give an estimated completion date for all applications. Previously, they gave an average working days estimate in an obscure part of their website and, as a result, were inundated with calls to their helpline asking when applications would be registered. Now, users will be able to have an indicative date for the completion for every application in one place, enabling conveyancers to better manage the expectations of clients. The ongoing delays at the Land Registry are frustrating for all involved, so the ability to see more accurate data on completion times will be of great help. It is an average estimate, based on their data on the day the application was submitted. But it will be revised as and when requisitions and correspondence are issued. Unfortunately, it may not be in the initial rollout, as the Land Registry admits its current average estimates aren’t actually accurate due to covid-19 problems, but the programming has been done so it will be with us soon.



And as if this news wasn’t enough excitement for one webinar, the Land Registry revealed that they have been privately testing an online form of the “AP1” – the principal form for most applications made to the Land Registry under the e-DRS (electronic document registration service). The form will come with pre-filled data from Land Registry records, which will reduce the number of Land Registry requisitions raised because of simple mistake. The Land Registry tentatively estimate that it will be ready for release in beta by the end of the year, so it will be interesting to see the results of their testing.