Public Services > Central Government

Land Registry pushes forward with digital correspondence overhaul

Neil Merrett Published 07 March 2017

Non-ministerial department will from this month begin offering expanded e-mail correspondence and online options for customers wishing to obtain key application documents


The Land Registry has announced that it will be stepping up its online service provision from next week with a push towards a growing reliance on e-mail correspondence as part of ongoing service reforms it has introduced during the first quarter of 2017.

As a non-ministerial department that records property owners in England and Wales, the Land Registry’s operations sit outside the remit of the Government Digital Service’s (GDS) work to provide online functions and support to Whitehall organisations.

In an update on its online services provision, the Land Registry said that from March 13, it will begin e-mailing correspondence related to applications submitted via its electronic document registration service (e-DRS) in an effort to reorganise the organisation to better handle increased workloads.

Its customers will therefore be required to ensure an updated e-mail address is associated with their portal ID. However, users will be able to select a unique e-mail address on an application by application basis under the new system.

“Up until 13 March, customers will need to continue to write their email address on each application to receive correspondence by email. Automating this process will make it more accurate and efficient, and is a response to customer feedback,” said the Land Registry.

In addition to expanding e-mail correspondence with customers, the organisation has announced it will also be expanding the types of documents that can be sent online to support customer registrations by including the ‘JP Cancellation of Default Form A restriction’ among options.

“When land has more than one owner, customers don’t always specify how the owners hold the land when they apply to us to update the register. We need to know this before we can update the register so we place a restriction in the register which protects it until the ownership status is established,” said the organisation.

“When we place this restriction in the register, we send customers a letter to notify them. The restriction is not always necessary, so customers may want to cancel it.”

Under previous systems, the Land Registry required individuals wishing to cancel the specific restriction to complete a certificate section in the letter they have been sent and return within 30 days, either via post or as an application form via e-DRS.

From next week, the cancellation documents can be processed through selecting it as an option from a drop down list of services provided online as a means of streamlining the Land registry’s correspondence.

Last month, the Land Registry announced it was launching an in-house service that will allow it to return cancelled registration applications to customers online even for requests they send via post as it looks to streamline the services it provides.

The technology, which expands the functions of its existing e-despatch solution for professional customers, will operate separately from a notification platform currently being developed by Whitehall to update the status of applications received from the public for departmental services.  

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