This time next year, all updates to existing land registrations will only be accepted by government digitally, HM Land Registry announced today, Wednesday, November 10.

From November 2022, instead of uploading PDFs or scans to the customer portal or Business Gateway platform, data will be entered directly into the HM Land Registry system.

This data will then be automatically checked for errors against the information already held. It will also calculate the correct fee required.

The department has been testing out digital applications since April 2021, with over 100,000 applications submitted so far.

Dawn Goodwin from the Law firm Taylor Rose MW, an early-adopter of digital applications, said it takes just “ten minutes” to complete an application.

“We used to generate the AP1s ourselves. Interestingly we don’t get requisitions for spelling errors now, which has taken a massive chunk of the requisitions away” she added, concluding that the digital process in “faster and so easy to use”.

Announcing the digital move, chief executive and chief land registrar of HM Land Registry, Simon Hayes said:

"I am very pleased to be announcing this move to digital applications, which I believe creates a number of opportunities for our customers and for HM Land Registry.

By validating applications automatically prior to submission, the new process reduces errors, meaning fewer applications are sent back to our customers for clarification or more information, which is always a source of frustration for all involved.

“For HM Land Registry, elements of the caseworker review can be automated, speeding up or removing many of the manual tasks traditionally required to process an application, enabling quicker service times in the future. By automating in this way we also free up our expert caseworkers to spend more time on complex cases, which will also benefit customers.

“We are currently seeing a 25% drop in requisitions where digital applications are being used for charge/transfer and transfer-only applications – and we expect that to improve even further.”