E-Conveyancing on the way
Plans to update the conveyancing process in England and Wales have been ongoing since 1998, when preliminary proposals were set out in a report, compiled by the Law Commission and the Land Registry, entitled Land Registration for the Twenty-First Century. Consultation on how best to go about re-engineering the system has been extensive. The aim is to develop an electronic system of conveyancing that makes buying and selling easier for all those involved in the process.
The Land Registry’s e-conveyancing project, developed by IBM, is expected to go live some time this summer following the introduction of a public key infrastructure (PKI) system that uses cryptography to guarantee the authenticity of property transaction documents. The system is designed to allow authorised users to exchange information quickly, securely and reliably with each other and with the Land Registry. Documents will be encrypted and signed with a digital certificate. Documents will only be able to be produced or read by those in possession of a cryptographic token, username and password. Once up and running, the system should allow property and mortgage registrations to be completed instantly, funds to be transferred immediately, securely and reliably and it will enable accurate and up-to-date information on the progress of all linked conveyancing transactions to be accessed online.