HM Land Registry Rejection Policy Widens

In August 2017, HM Land Registry announced plans to trial a wider set of rejection criteria on first registration applications (FR1). The ultimate aim being the achievement of “simpler, faster and cheaper conveyancing”.

The trial of a further six criteria will begin from 8 October 2018. These included where:

·         the first option in panel 3 of the FR1 has been completed (the attached plan and shown), but a plan hasn’t been supplied

·         the extent of the land sought to be registered cannot be clearly identified on the Ordnance Survey map from the description provided in panel 3, or documentation sent with the application

·         panels 14 to 16 are completed incorrectly.

All relating to FR1, HM Land Registry says that customers should get these points right every time.

A further three rejection criteria relate to applications for first registration that rely on copy deeds:

·         when the conveyancer’s certificate has not been sent

·         when a mix of copy and original deeds have been sent with an application that contains a conveyancer’s certificate

·         when all copy deeds have not been certified within 3 months of sending them to us, or the certification is undated, or the address of the conveyancer is not included in the certification.

According to HM Land Registry: “Previously, when the conveyancer’s certificate had not been sent with the application, or a combination of copy and original deeds were sent, we sent you an application enquiry requesting the original deeds. From today, rejected applications for these points can be resent with the copy deeds, allowing original deeds to be retained in your possession.”

It adds: “In the past, when the copy deeds were not certified correctly, we requested additional certified copies. From today, when these applications are rejected we will return the certified copy deeds to you for amendment.”

The Registration Completion Service (RCS) has been consulted about the changes.

In addition, following the success of the original test, four rejection criteria have now been formally added. These were applied from 8 October 2018.

They include where:

·         an AP1 application form is submitted instead of an FR1 application form

·         panel 3 of the FR1 is not completed (extent of land sought to be registered)

·         panel 5 of the FR1 is not completed or no fee has been lodged (value of land and fee paid)

·         panel 12 of FR1 is not completed (certificate of title).

Commenting on the widening of its rejection criteria, a statement on the GOV.UK website says: “We commit to be open and transparent in our dealings with customers and to deliver accuracy standards, but customers need to play their part. We are working hard to achieve these goals and balance customer needs against the duty we hold to land and property owners. Internally we are improving our caseworkers’ practices to enhance the quality of the data we share and the consistency of the application enquiries (requisitions) we send you. We have also developed a range of webinars that provide practical guidance on how to prepare and send us applications.”

You can find out more information about these changes here.

As a conveyancer, what is your opinion of the Land Registry’s rejection policy? Do you think they will achieve their aim of making the conveyancing process more efficient? Will it assist you in transactions?

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