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New Practice Updates Announced for Conveyancers Along with HM Land Registry Concerns
January 11, 2023

1. Introduction

Conveyancers need to be mindful of further Land Registry updates to the Practice Guide along with concerns raised in a blog published at the start of the year.

 2. HMLR practice guide updates: January 2023

The HM Land Registry has made several updates to the Practice Guide, including: PG1, PG6, PG19, PG24, PG73. Published guidelines include:

I. First registrations (PG1)

    • Page summary:
      Guidance for conveyancers on how to register unregistered estates in land for the first time (practice guide 1).
    • Change made:
      Section 5.8 has been updated as where an application for first registration is not based upon a disposition for value, we may, without further reference to you, make an entry relating to inheritance tax if you do not provide the appropriate evidence that it has been paid.

II. Devolution on the death of a registered proprietor (PG6)

    • Page summary:
      What to do following the death of a joint, sole or last surviving proprietor of a registered estate, charge or mortgage (practice guide 6).
    • Change made:
      Section 2.3.2 has been amended to include information on grants ad colligenda bona.

III. Notices, restrictions and protection of third-party interests (PG19)

    • Page summary:
      How to apply for a notice or restriction to protect a third-party interest in an estate (practice guide 19).
    • Change made:
      Section 3.9.2 has been updated as an application for cancellation may also be appropriate as well as a withdrawal of a restriction.

VI. Private trusts of land (PG24)

    • Page summary:
      Guidance on applications to register transactions involving trustees of land, aimed at conveyancers (practice guide 24).
    • Change made:
      Section 2.2.5 has been amended to clarify when it might not be appropriate to apply for a Form B restriction.

V. Statements of truth (PG73)

    • Page summary:
      Information about the use of statements of truth in support of applications to HM Land Registry (practice guide 73).
    • Change made:
      Section 3 has been updated to clarify that while rule 215A of the Land Registration Rules 2003 does not require a statement of truth to be dated, the registrar has the power to request this (pursuant to rule 17).

Note – PG1 and PG19 were updated 6am 23rd December 2022. All others were updated 6am 3rd January 2023.

 

3. Land Registry renews plea over requisitions

In addition to the Practice Guide updates, the HM Land Registry published a blog on ‘Avoiding the Simple Errors That Cause Delays’  in which Mike Harlow, Land Registry’s deputy chief executive said avoidable errors in applications to register property transactions was one of the main obstacles the agency faced in delivering quicker processing times.

Around one million requests for further information, known as ‘requisitions’, are raised a year.

Harlow said: “We spend a lot of time checking for – and clarifying – basic administrative errors, from names spelled differently between the documents and the register, to undated deeds, missing pages, incomplete addresses or handwritten dates and so on that are impossible to read. We know how frustrating this can be for applicants.”

HM Registry says they are taking steps to help conveyancers further by tightening up their procedures even further and reduce unnecessary requisitions through increased, improved in-house training and workshops. Additionally, the are committed to developing digital application processes to make land registration quicker and easier.

 4. How confident are you about compliance?

The Strategic Partner is a law firm knowledge hub. We work with both law firms and professional indemnity insurers, advising and guiding on risk management techniques to assist and reduce instances of errors or regulatory breaches.

If you believe your firm may be at risk or wish to confirm your firm is achieving the required standard, at The Strategic Partner, we offer a range of solutions.

  • Regulation 21AML 2017 Independent Audit – A review of the firm’s approach to regulation and compliance to include AML procedures with the audit meeting the requirements of Regulation 21 of the AML 2017. The output of which provides the firm with a written gap analysis and solutions to remedy any issues that rise and ensure the firm is compliant, find out more
  • Training– Our typical AML Training includes:
    • AML Training for ALL staff to meet the firm’s obligation to provide annual training.
    • 1-2-1 training for the MLRO and MLCO on their obligations and requirements.
    • Practical training for those involved in client onboarding to ensure their ID and AML checks are correctly completed.
  • File Revies/Auditing – At TSP we engage with firms undertaking files reviews where we consider procedure, staff, systems and files to ensure the procedures are up to the required standard and being implemented at case level with a report of the outcome

Our packaged risk and compliance solutions provide guidance and support to firms on a range of topics and include: –

  • Our Risk, Regulation and Compliance Service (including AML),provides firms with the necessary Policies Control and Procedures (PCP’s) – that are in line with CQS requirements and the standard of the relevant quality mark –  alongside training, supervision structure, an annual independent assessment and reporting. This solution ensures firms, and their staff are compliant and remain there. It also clarifies what to do in the event of a mistake and/or a breach occurs.
  • Our extended service, Risk, Compliance, AML Guidance and Register Administration, provides an outsourcesolution for firms where The Strategic Partner not only manage and maintain the risk registers and provide guidance to all staff (inc Partners) we also produce monthly risk and compliance report.

The combination of these two solutions provides a law firm with a robust and cost-effective risk and compliance strategy that ensures staff have access to expert guidance as it is needed.

 5. Accreditation and Quality Marks – CQS

In much the same way as for Lexcel, WIQS and SQM, The Strategic Partner can work with firms to provide the needed resources and expertise to maintain and renew the CQS kitemark, including the management of any assessments, completion of applications and updates to applications.

We are fully aware of the requirements of each of these kitemarks and how firms should act to ensure they maintain them throughout the provision of legal services.

Our focus is to provide firms with the necessary resources and expertise to control and maintain all regulatory requirements and quality kitemark

Our services are all charged on either fixed fees or on a timely basis, all of which will be agreed upfront for the service required.

All services we provide will include:

  • Completion of any application, be that a new application or for renewal
  • Development and maintenance of policies and procedures that are in line with the firm’s requirements and the Standard of the relevant quality mark.
  • Preparation for audits and assessments on an annual basis
  • Provision of auditingsolutions and reporting on such audits
  • Liaison with the body to oversee assessments
  • Reporting to the Partners/Directors on any issues as they arise
  • Provision of solutions to overcome the issues.

The solutions we provide are either a complete outsource and maintenance programme or project-based assistance, as required.

 6. Get in touch with our compliance team

We would be pleased to discuss your current approach to regulation and compliance and how our services will assist you in ensuring your firm is protected.

Contact our team today on 0203 911 9710, email us info@thestrategicpartner.co.uk or make an online enquiry here to request your transparency fee rules review.

 

View and download the PDF version of this article here. 

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