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Consultation on updating the Land Registration Act 2002 - Law Society response

1 August 2016

We have responded to the Law Commission's consultation entitled Updating the Land Registration Act 2002.

The consultation is designed to consider how the Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA 2002), which came into force in October 2003, might be clarified or amended in the light of its operation over the last twelve years. The Law Commission says that the aim of the project is to 'improve specific aspects of [the LRA 2002] operation within the existing legal framework'.

Some of the key areas of the consultation include e-conveyancing, verification and the scope of the Land Registry indemnity and guarantee.

E-conveyancing

The Law Commission has recognised that the vision of e-conveyancing which was developed in the LRA 2002 is no longer applicable and that, as a result, the provisions relating to e-conveyancing need amending. We agree that it is not necessary to retain the aim of achieving simultaneous completion and registration. Until technology, and practice adapted to that changing technology, develops, we agree that it is distracting to maintain the position in the current legislation.

Verification

We are concerned to ensure that any steps taken in relation to verification requirements should be developed very carefully. In particular the imposition of any new duties on solicitors and conveyancers and/or lenders will need detailed consideration. There are already a host of duties and obligations in this sphere. It would not be helpful to have further duties that do not sit comfortably with existing obligations: that conflict with them or create lacunae.

Indemnity

We have responded in relation to rectification, indemnity, fraud and the state guarantee. Our responses might be different if proposals to privatise Land Registry were to be pursued.

For a more detailed view of the Society's response to this consultation, please read our full response below.

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