Estimated completion dates, automatic fees calculation and fewer requisitions are just a taste of things to come for HM Land Registry customers in 2021.
HM Land Registry’s portal was launched to provide a more efficient alternative to postal applications. Conveyancers and their support staff use the portal to scan documents and submit applications online. It is now used by more than 7,000 businesses and 87,000 individuals who request, collectively, over 20 million individual services annually. But in a world where immediate results and real-time updates are expected, HM Land Registry have acknowledged that these electronic processes need to be improved.
To meet its commitment to a simpler, faster service, HM Land Registry has undertaken an extensive programme to digitise key elements of the registration process. The end game is a customer experience where applications are error checked in real-time, simple processes are automated, and status updates are readily available. Land Registry caseworkers will focus their time on the complex technical aspects of land registration, whilst automation takes care of the simple but labour-intensive tasks, providing a faster service overall. Critically, all changes to the register will be stored digitally, making a host of new services achievable in the future.
HM Land Registry delivered the first of these improved services in 2020 with the launch of View My Applications, a dashboard providing an individual with single view of all the applications they have lodged for their firm with us. Up to 9,000 customers are already using it every week. It also ran a successful pilot of a new Digital Registration Service (DRS) which removes the need for scanned application forms. Once complete, DRS will replace the current electronic Document Registration Service altogether. Customers that took part in the pilot were delighted with the new functionality, which included automatic fees calculation and error checking.
In 2021, great strides will be made to fully transform the HM Land Registry portal. Customers can expect to see a wide range of new features and functionality coming out on a regular basis.
Testing of a new feature to offer estimated completion dates for applications will start in February with launch expected within the quarter. Customers will be able to see when their submitted applications are likely to complete via the new View My Applications dashboard.
HM Land Registry receives the highest volume of calls from customers checking the status of applications. This new feature should help, as Chris Pope, HM Land Registry’s Chief Operations Officer explains:
“Now more than ever, our customers need to keep their clients up to date with progress and are under pressure to manage tight timescales. The introduction of Estimated Completion Dates will provide customers with the information they need to more easily plan their projects.”
The new Digital Registration Service will be launched in the spring and offers a superior experience to customers who manually submit applications to change the register. Initially, customers will be able to use this service to lodge updates to single titles and benefit from automated fees calculation and name-checking. Later in the year, we will expand the service more so that all updates to the register can be made via this improved service.
It’s a wide-scale programme that will be further developed and built upon, aiming to complete in 2022. Each new feature is designed based on customer insight, and extensive testing. Once a new feature is made available, customers will be asked for feedback and any necessary tweaks and adjustments will be made. HM Land Registry wants customers to come on the journey with them and has made customer engagement and feedback a key part of the test and deployment process.
Similarly, they have kicked off a new programme to upgrade Business Gateway, the interface larger conveyancing firms use to automate changes to the register. HM Land Registry’s ambition here is to make it easy for firms that use their own, or third party provided, case management systems to integrate, and to make portal features, such as real-time error checking, available via this platform.
Chris comments further:
“We know the industry is under immense pressure right now, which is why we are focussed on streamlining the customer experience and accelerating change where possible. By the end of the year, we expect all customers to receive a simpler, faster service and we encourage them to try it out and give us their feedback.”
To find out more about the planned changes please visit here.
Written by HM Land Registry