Legal Updates

Commercial Property Law  – Conveyancers – Evidence of Identity – New Practice Guide

A practice guide outlining the Land Registry’s requirements relating to evidence of identity has recently been made available to the public. The practice guide is entitled: “Practice Guide 67 - Evidence of identity – Conveyancers” (“PG 67”). The new proof of identity requirements are reflected in changes that have been implemented in a number of forms used by the Land Registry. These changes are provided for in the Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2008.

PG 67 provides conveyancers with detailed information relating to the Land Registry's new requirements. These requirements state that specific identity evidence is required when registering certain transactions with the Land Registry.

Although the requirements relate to conveyancers, PG 67 aims to be of particular use to legal practitioners. It should be noted that any other individual that wishes to make an application should refer to the Land Registry's “Public Guide 20: Identity checks”.

PG 67 states that legal practitioners that make specific types of application to the Land Registry which are made on, or after, the 10th of November 2008 must provide details relating to the identity of the conveyancers that acted for any other individuals involved in the transaction. These “other individuals” also include lenders.

If an individual or corporate body involved in the transaction is not represented by a conveyancer, the individual that makes the application must carry out the following:

  • They must confirm that sufficient steps have been taken in verifying the identity of the unrepresented individual; and
  • They must provide appropriate evidence of the unrepresented individual’s identity.

It is interesting to note that the Land Registry has admitted that there are likely to be some circumstances where it might be impossible to submit appropriate evidence of identity. An example of such circumstances would be where the contracts relating to the transaction have been exchanged before the 10th of November 2008. Where this is the case, the Land Registry still requires that the applications are to be made using the new forms, however, it would be willing to accept a letter from the applicant stating that the new identity procedure could not be complied with.

PG 67 contains substantial information that legal practitioners will find useful, including:

  • Examples as to how the new Form AP1 should be completed to maximise the likelihood of the application being accepted; and
  • Examples of the certificate of identity forms (Form ID1 for a private individual and Form ID2 for a corporate body).

Despite PG 67 being aimed at legal practitioners, it is advisable for conveyancers review the new requirements for the following reasons:

  • Firstly, conveyancers should be familiar with the new versions of Land Registry Form AP1, Form FR1 and Form DS2 due to the fact that they are to be used for all applications made after the 10th of November 2008, even in the event that the transaction is completed before that date.
  • Secondly, in the event that conveyancers have negotiated contracts which are to be exchanged after the 10th of November 2008, the contract now have to include a requirement providing for the provision of evidence of identity for any unrepresented individual or corporate body.
  • Thirdly, conveyancers should review the likely effects of the new requirements and accordinly set up procedures ensuring that the new requirements can be adhered to effectively in the future.

Legal practitioners should note that when dealing with the new requirements they may need to raise issues relating to identity with tact, specifically where the parties to a transaction have been negotiation terms for a considerable amount of time. To provide further assistance to legal practitioners in respect of the changes, the Land Registry has published a number of supplementary documents:

  • The Land Registry "Take action" Booklet (Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2008);
  • A list of practice guides that have been amended to reflect the changes;
  • A list of forms as amended by the Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2008;
  • The Land Registration Rules 2003 (consolidated version); and
  • An FAQ relating to the Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2008.


Please contact us for more information at enquiries@rtcoopers.com

Visit http://www.rtcoopers.com/commercial_property.php

© RT COOPERS, 2009. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

 

 

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