In response to the recent announcement from HM Land Registry advising all register update applications will be required to be submitted digitally from November 2022, Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director at Search Acumen comments on what this will mean for the conveyancing industry, including the potential for a half an hour* of processing time saved per transaction:
“This step by HM Land Registry (HMLR) is a concrete example of the measures needed to future proof our nation’s real estate as a top tier global asset class. It is barely believable that 80% of AP1 submissions up until now have been uploads of physical paper documents, swallowing up unnecessary time and inviting inaccuracies which then waste even more hours dealing with enquiries and requisitions.
“As things stand, analogue processes like this cause inefficiencies throughout the transaction process, creating frustration for conveyancers and their clients, increasing costs and ultimately making the due diligence process more expensive for everyone involved.
“It is high time to change our ways of working, and our analysis shows full digitisation of the AP1 process, which we can deliver through our AI-driven online conveyancing platforms, can save over half an hour of processing time per transaction. We estimate this equates to over 500,000 hours of labour that could be saved over a year across the sector, simply by creating an automated digital process for changing the register.
“Digitising AP1 submissions to HMLR is only one part of the essential digitisation of the property transaction process, but it is a significant step forward. Major change will come as the result of incremental innovations like this, as the cumulative impact of process improvements and widespread tech adoption drives future efficiencies.
“We applaud HMLR for taking this step and showing leadership in the ongoing effort to create a property sector that’s fit for the future. This change will be welcomed by conveyancers across the country, reducing the hours they spend on routine administration and allowing them to focus on what matters: imparting their knowledge and expertise to clients while working to grow their businesses.
“Firms are not alone as they start to consider how to manage this change. Our AP1 management software is already geared up to interact automatically with Land Registry’s digital platform, meaning our suite of AI driven conveyancing solutions are perfectly placed to help facilitate this process migration. We’d encourage firms to get on the front foot and digitise their AP1 processes as early as possible. We are ready to guide lawyers through this period of change and our team of software experts and product specialists will be at industry’s disposal to support a smooth evolution to digital AP1 submission throughout 2022.”