25 Oct


Digital technology will transform land registration and conveyancing in next year

The next year is likely to be the most innovative ever in how land and property is registered. The Land Registry says it’s aiming to complete the first fully digital transfer of a property using the most advanced technology.

In anticipation of the introduction of the most up-to-date digital technology, the Land Registry has established Digital Street, a research and development project involving industry leaders. Now in its second year, Digital Street has set ambitious targets for the year ahead. The first digital mortgage deed was entered into the land register in April of this year.


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Future vision

Lauren Tombs, senior product manager at Digital Street, revealed the Land Registry’s future vision for buying and selling property.

In a blog post, she wrote that their focus was on understanding how smart contracts can interact with the land register with the ultimate aim of completing the first fully digital transfer of a property.

Smart contracts are those encoded on the likes of blockchain or by using Bitcoin. They use a digital signature from buyer and seller and have the potential to speed up conveyancing transactions.

All sales of land and property must be registered with the Land Registry within 30 days of a completed sale using a form that is submitted electronically, usually by the purchaser’s conveyancing solicitor.

Focus on smart contracts

In her blog post on the Digital Street website, Lauren Tombs said they were exploring the benefits of using blockchain technology for land registration and conveyancing. How to check and share the identity of those involved safely and securely across the process is also being examined.

She wrote: “Digital Street will be developing concepts over the next coming months to test future models with our users and to validate our learning. We’ve decided to make understanding the technology our first priority, particularly smart contracts, and distributed ledgers.”