HM Land Registry has announced that, until further notice, it will now accept electronic signatures generated by electronic signature platforms on certain registrable deeds, removing the strict requirement to print and sign a paper document in a property transaction, in some cases.
This move comes shortly after HM Land Registry announced that it would accept documents signed by the 'mercury' approach in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This will be subject to various requirements, including both signatories to the document being represented by a conveyancer, and the witness still being in the physical presence of the signatory when the document is signed.
It remains unclear whether this is just a temporary response to the current practical difficulties faced in signing documents or whether this change is here for good.
From Monday 27 July 2020, HM Land Registry will accept ‘witnessed electronic signatures’: electronic signatures that enable an individual to sign legal documents, but which still require a witness who is present at the time to also sign the documents electronically.