Starting this week, the Land Registry has said that they will accept electronic signatures that are witnessed for the transfer of property ownership, mortgages, and leases. This approach will pave the way for the entire conveyancing process to be completed digitally going forward. To sign deeds electronically, they must first be uploaded to an online platform. Once the documents have been signed electronically in the physical presence of the witness who also signs then the conveyancer will be notified. The online platform will require a two-factor authentication process.

Chief executive Simon Hayes commented: ‘What we have done today is remove the last strict requirement to print and sign a paper document in a home buying or other property transaction. This should help right now while lots of us are working at home, but it is also a keystone of a truly digital, secure and more efficient conveyancing process that we believe is well within reach.’

‘The more sophisticated qualified electronic signatures are a part of that vision and encouraging those is where our attention will be directed next.’

Even prior to COVID-19 there has been a great demand for technological advances in the conveyancing process. However, in the wake of COVID-19, it seems that the law has changed fundamentally to help ensure social distancing across the UK.

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