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New land registration rules come into force in November 2008
New land registration rules were made on 17 July 2008. They amend the Land Registration Rules 2003 and come into force on 10 November 2008. They follow an extensive consultation on proposals to amend the 2003 rules that ran from October 2007 to January 2008.
The Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2008 aim, in particular, to reduce the administrative burden on customers and to reduce the risk of fraud. Most of the new rules amend existing rules but some introduce new practice such as:
* the use of statements of truth as an alternative to statutory declarations
* the removal of additional documents from the general right of inspection.
All the forms prescribed by the Land Registration Rules 2003 will change. However, it will be possible to use many of the old forms for a transitionary period of three months until 10 February 2009. Most of Land Registry's practice guides will be amended as a result of the amendment rules.
A number of respondents to the consultation raised concerns over the proposal to require conveyancers to confirm that they had complied with their professional duties in verifying their client's identity and had confirmation from the other party's conveyancer that he or she had complied with the same duties in respect of their client.
After further consultation with the Law Society and others, this proposal was amended. Generally speaking, a conveyancer sending an application to Land Registry will only be asked to give details of the conveyancer who acted for the other party. The purpose of the requirement is to reduce the instances of property fraud.
The issue of whether completion of the 'declaration of trust' panel in transfers of registered land should be compulsory where there is more than one transferee raises some difficult questions and will be considered by a working party, which will consult further as necessary.
Other statutory instruments also coming into force on 10 November 2008 make minor consequential amendments to the Commonhold (Land Registration) Rules 2004 and the Land Registration (Proper Office) Order 2007.
Notes to editors
1. The Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2008 and the report on consultation can be viewed and downloaded by following links on the Land Registry website www1.landregistry.gov.uk. Land Registry intends to provide on its website by the middle of next month a consolidated version of the Land Registration Rules 2003 incorporating all the amendments to date and highlighting those made by the Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2008.
2. The consultation followed an internal review of the rules by Land Registry (see press notice 23/07 issued 28 September 2007).
3. With one of the world's largest transactional property databases of its kind, detailing over 21 million titles, Land Registry underpins the economy by safeguarding ownership of many billions of pounds worth of property.
4. As a government department established in 1862, executive agency and trading fund responsible to the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, Land Registry maintains and develops the Land Register for England and Wales. The Land Register has been an open document since 1990.
5. For further information about Land Registry, please visit www1.landregistry.gov.uk
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