Conveyancers “do enough already”

In response to last week’s article on the auto-enrolment of home movers on to the Land Registry’s Property Alert Service, conveyancers have had their say on Today’s Conveyancer. 

The article suggested that one way to combat conveyancing fraud in the wake of the case of Rev. Hall whose house was “stolen” by fraudsters, is to auto-enrol clients on the Land Registry’s fraud alert service. Once a property is added email alerts are sent when official searches and applications are received against a monitored property.

Commenting on the article Michael Smith suggested that

“Having Conveyancers auto enrol clients will just add and additional burden on the whole conveyancing process and lead to further increases in transaction times. Why cannot Land Registry do it as a matter of course from the info provided in the AP1.”

In response another comment said

“I agree with Michael Smith that conveyancers don’t need any more work on each transaction; but the Land Registry doesn’t have property owners’ email addresses to send its notifications to, unless they’re given as one of the addresses for service on the proprietorship register.”

“The registration completion sheet invites property buyers to look at its advice about fraud. In my view, it should flag up the availability of the property alert service, not just make a general reference to the subject.”

One respondent summed up many conveyancer’s sentiments, commenting

“Don’t conveyancers do enough already???”

In the 2 weeks following the news story The Times this weekend reported about 30,000 people have signed up to the service which normally receives around 4,000 sign ups a month; just 4% of the overall number of transactions seen in a typical month. 225,000 are now registered, monitoring 670,000 properties.

A LinkedIn poll conducted by Today’s Conveyancer revealed that 1 in 10 conveyancers are either unaware of the service, or do not recommend registering for it to their clients on completion despite it being part of the CQS protocol.

“Supply a copy of the title information document to the buyer and remind the buyer to keep the address for service up to date. Advise the client of the existence of the HM Land Registry Property Alert service.”

Stage F, 34, Registration (2) p 31

One Response

  1. I was asked recently why the Land Registry haven’t removed the 10-property limit on its Property Alert offering, so that conveyancers can do this for their clients.

    My understanding is that they have in their plans to introduce a default request to add the client to Property Alert as part of the more flexible digital application system.

    They would prefer owners to have the alert for themselves, as that is more likely to succeed. Making it easier for conveyancers to put their client’s emails on the alert is their preference.

    As far as timing is concerned, a spokesperson said “not within the next six months, as that is all about making Digital Registration Service (DRS) the most useable thing for simple register changes. Beyond that, we need to work on prioritisation, but clearly the interest in this is very welcome and noted.”

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