Update to HMLR Practice Guide

HM Land Registry’s Address for service practice guide has recently been updated.

Aimed at conveyancers, the guide seeks to clarify the process around Rule 198 of the 2003 Land Registration Rules, in light of the significant changes that it introduced. These related to the type of address for service that can be accepted for entry in the register.

In the most recent update, sections 3, 5 and 6 have been amended in order to clarify the policy for entering a UK postal address for service.

Section 3 provides guidance on the types of address for service, detailing the requirements of what needs to be entered into the register. It lists what needs to be provided when supplying an address for service, stating that conveyancers should disclose the following:

  • UK addresses: Full address with postcode
  • Overseas addresses: Full address with country name and ZIP/area code. Translation for entry will also be needed if in non-Roman characters.
  • DX addresses: Box number and exchange name in the DX223344, Southampton 4 format
  • Email addresses: address in the [email protected] format

Where details are incomplete, HMLR will contact you in order for the application to be completed.

Section 5 details how addresses for service will be entered in the register if there is more than one. HMLR advise that they will be ordered as followed:

  • Postal address
  • DX address
  • Email address

If they are unable to locate a suitable match with the details provided by the conveyancer and those on the address database, HMLR will enter the address as set out in the application.

Section 6 provides guidance on the change of an address, stating that interested parties will be written to at the addresse(s) detail in the register.

HMLR also remind conveyancers that clients should keep their addresses up to date, and to stress the importance of this. If the registry are not kept up to date, this could result in correspondence not being received, meaning a potential loss for the client.

Although HMLR may only request identity evidence on certain applications, they reserve the right to carry these checks as well as further verification procedures in respect of identity.

Whilst email addresses are highlighted as a favourable address for service, HMLR highlight that these are still subject to issues later down the line; for example when a service provider changes.

HMLR also need to be notified if an address needs to be added, removed or corrected.

Further information can be found in Practice Guide 55 which can be accessed here.

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