Residential conveyancing in England and Wales is about to undergo a change thanks to a new online system called Veyo. The new online conveyancing system will allow for easy access to information and documents for purchasers, mortgage lenders, estate agents, and government agencies such as HM Land Registry and HM Revenue and Customs. This will not only bring conveyancing into the modern age but also give solicitors and licensed conveyancers more control over what information is shared and with whom. Once the system is fully implemented, the entire conveyancing process will be streamlined and made much more secure than under current conveyancing methods.
Conveyancing for the Digital Age
The new online conveyancing system will eliminate much of the physical paperwork of conveyancing while serving as a central location for vital information regarding the properties being transferred. The system is a joint venture between the Law Society and the IT firm Mastek, following in the footsteps of an abandoned attempt at a similar system in 2009 by the Land Registry. The new system, which is scheduled to come online in early 2015, will feature Land Registry integration from the very beginning and is planned to add Revenue and Customs integration in a later update to allow for stamp duty land tax features.
Veyo is being designed to cover the entire conveyancing process, incorporating everything from instruction to post-completion and providing updates and automatic action prompts along the way. Buyers and sellers will even be able to stay up to date with the process through the use of integrated mobile apps.
Preventing Forgeries and Fraud
Although some may worry that shifting so much information online with Veyo could create more instances of property fraud and make the entire system a target, there is at least one key part of conveyancing that will be kept offline. As the Land Registry requires a ‘wet’ signature on deeds to meet its legal requirement, actual deed transfers can be carried out only in person. The Veyo system will manage all the information leading up to the transfer, but the deeds themselves will need to be physically signed with the same requirements that are used in current conveyancing practices.
Veyo will also help prevent fraud by allowing conveyancers and solicitors easy access to all the documents and information associated with the property being transferred. If there are issues with a deed or signs of fraud, supporting information can quickly be checked to make sure that all is well before a deed is signed.
Open for the Future
In addition to allowing solicitors and licensed conveyancers access to information and documents, Veyo is also being designed to allow access to additional groups in the future. While these two groups are the only ones who will have access to the system to start, the option exists to add additional professionals who are approved to offer conveyancing services. The goal is to make the system a one-stop resource for anyone who is approved to offer conveyancing services, with the hope being that it will gain popularity quickly so that it essentially becomes the default system for conveyancing in England and Wales.
Of course, it helps that the system is built on the current conveyancing protocol used by the Law Society. While there will be some differences between current methods and the new online conveyancing system, it is designed to at least offer a familiar service with a convenient case management system that can be customized to meet the needs of individual conveyancing professionals.