Trowers on board with new HM Land Registry identity verification rules
International law firm Trowers & Hamlins welcomes HM Land Registry's revised approach to signing deeds during the pandemic – making it easier for real estate transactions to continue in these difficult and unprecedented times. Firms are able to get documents signed and into HM Land Registry using ‘Mercury signatures’. Where certain conditions are satisfied, HMLR will now accept electronic forms of manuscript signature in place of wet ink signatures.
The temporary changes introduced in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak are part of HM Land Registry's regular review of its practice, policy and procedures, taking guidance from customer feedback.
Trowers partner, Rebecca Wardle said:
"This is good news for us and our clients in terms of making deal completion logistics easier, allowing faster completions and applications for registration to be made more swiftly. It also shows a pragmatic approach from HM Land Registry, by helping to mitigate some of the challenges that we find ourselves in at the moment. We recognise that this is a temporary measure and the procedure set out in updated Practice Guide 8 should, of course, be followed carefully. Parties should continue to exercise vigilance as to risk. However, this is a positive response helping making processes digitised during this challenging time."
Our spokesperson is Robin Malpas, Head of Local Lawyer Group:
"We understand the difficulties conveyancers face and are continually reviewing our processes to see how we can support the property market in these difficult circumstances. These changes mean we now accept Mercury signatures, making it easier to sign deeds for land registration purposes. We have also expanded the list of professions that can verify someone’s identity and allow verification to take place via a video call. By making these changes, we hope that we can make it easier to work with us now and in the coming months. We will continue to listen to our customers and take action based on the feedback they provide and thank everyone for their support during this time."