News story

New document guidelines for first registrations

Conveyancers can now lodge certified copies of deeds and documents for first registration applications.

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The Registrar has made a Direction that means conveyancers can lodge certified copy deeds and documents instead of originals, providing they meet certain conditions:

Since June 2014, we have accepted certified copies of deeds and documents for applications to update registers of land, where the land is already registered. Until now, we have required original deeds and documents for first registration applications.

We have changed our practice to give conveyancers the opportunity to deal with us more consistently and simplify their internal processes. They can now apply the same practice whether they are lodging:

  • documents that support a first registration application
  • documents to support an application to update to an existing register

Conveyancers can still lodge applications with original deeds and documents if they choose to do so and we understand that not all deeds and documents are suitable for copying. In some instances, conveyancers may still need to lodge applications for first registration with original deeds and documents.

Please note that:

  • first registrations can still only be lodged through the post. Today’s Registrar’s Direction will help us explore whether we can offer customers electronic lodgement of first registrations through the portal
  • if supporting deeds and documents for first registrations have been lost or destroyed, our existing policy still applies. Customers should still follow Practice Guide 2 – First registrations of title if deeds are lost or destroyed

More information for conveyancers.

This information is accurate at the time of publishing (28 November 2016). Conveyancers should always check our practice guides for up to date practice.

Cancelled applications

Where you do not lodge original deeds in response to a specific requisition, the application will be cancelled, in line with our current cancellation policy – see Practice Guide 50 - requisition and cancellation procedures.

The renewed application cannot be made under the Direction and must contain the original deeds we requested – see Practice Guide 49 - Return and rejection of applications for registration.

If the application is cancelled for any other reason, where this application is re-submitted there is no requirement to re-certify or re-date the deed(s) and document(s) lodged with your original application.

If an application is cancelled for any reason, we will return all deed(s) and document(s) lodged. We will scan or destroy all certified copies upon completion of the application, so you should retain your own certified copy if you need to.

Certified copies

A certified copy is a copy of a document that has been certified by a conveyancer as a true copy of the source document (including all memoranda), and endorsed with their name and address, and the date of the certification.

Each copy of any deed or document that accompanies the application must bear the appropriate certification from the three listed below, signed by a conveyancer and dated no more than three months before the application is made for the purposes of rule 15 of the Rules:

a. I/We certify this is a true copy of the original document.

b. I/We certify this is a true copy of a document which is certified by a conveyancer to be a true copy of the original (for example, in the case of an epitome or abstract).

c. This is a true copy of an uncertified copy deed or document that is in the control of the applicant.

Any plans you send us with the deeds must be full sized colour copies and must not be reduced in scale or size during the copying process. If the quality of a copy deed is not acceptable for our requirements, we will raise a requisition for the original deeds to be lodged.

If we receive an application that is not made up entirely of certified copy deeds and documents, we will be deem it to fall outside of the new direction and we will raise a requisition for the original deeds to be lodged.

Conditions for lodging certified copy deeds and documents instead of originals

  1. All certified copies must be dated within 3 months of the date of receipt of the application at Land Registry.

  2. Customers must provide the following separate certificate with their application:

“I certify on behalf of my organisation that this application is accompanied by certified copies of all deeds and documents relating to the title that are in the control of the applicant (as listed in the Form DL). My organisation will comply with any Land Registry request to lodge the originals of such deeds and documents until such time as Land Registry notifies us that the application is completed.

Signed …………………………… (signature of individual lodging conveyancer)

Print name ……………………………………

Of ………………………………………………… (name of organisation)

Roll, licence, authorisation or membership number issued by the individual conveyancer’s regulator ………………………….

Name of Regulator ……………………………………

Date: ………………………………”

The certificate must be signed by an individual lodging conveyancer, with their name printed underneath and not in name of the organisation. It must also contain their individual conveyancer number from the relevant regulatory authority.

There is no provision for the certificate in Form FR1. The certificate must be as shown above and should be given in a covering letter.

This certificate is mandatory and if it is not lodged the application will be considered to be substantially defective and may result in the application being cancelled or rejected.

3.Land Registry reserves the right to request original deeds on any application lodged, and may do so from time to time for quality assurance purposes and to meet our responsibilities to maintain the integrity of the Register.

Published 28 November 2016