Government unveils e-conveyancing consultation

14.08.2007

The government has announced the launch of a consultation on the plans for the introduction of e-conveyancing services.

Aimed to significantly cut the amount of time it takes to transfer a property through improved use of the internet and other technology, e-conveyancing has been long touted by the government and its supporters as a major way to enhance and improve the property industry as a whole.

The Land Registry has issued the consultation, which sets out its plans to introduce the electronic process of buying, selling and registration of land and property across England and Wales and will include the creation of electronic legal charges registered over property. The consultation process will run until November 16th and will see comments being made from a wide variety of interested parties.

Officials from the Land Registry have already explained that the early stages of the e-conveyancing system will see the scheme being used for remortgages rather than new mortgages, which will not involve charges associated with the purchase of registered land.

Welcoming the latest move in the development of e-conveyancing, Henry Pryor, founder of PrimeMove.com, told BBC Radio Five Live "It's really dealing with the question of charges that are put on properties when you borrow the money either as a first charge or a second charge, and this is going to be able to be done electronically."

However, concerns have been raised over the security of the e-conveyancing system. The BBC has reported that anyone can access information on properties around the UK, providing they pay a small fee. The discovery has worried some, as details regarding mortgage information is included in the information that can be viewed online, raising the risk of identity fraud.

However, such claims have been rejected by the Land Registry, which has insisted that the system remains robust and the information that can be viewed is only data that is already largely in the public domain and can already be accessed. The Land Registry will be keen to head off any concerns about the future of the e-conveyancing scheme, given the amount of importance that has been placed on it and the reliance on the system to revolutionise and improve the property sector.