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The Clock is Ticking – Is Your Firm Ready for the Upcoming digital AP1 Changes? article image

The Clock is Ticking – Is Your Firm Ready for the Upcoming digital AP1 Changes?

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For property firms, it might feel like that changes are always awash at HM Land Registry. Just looking at 2022, as of 31 January, there are new Scale 1 and Scale 2 fees. More pertinently, and a change that impacts firms operationally, is the introduction of the digital AP1 service from November this year.


Whilst currently, up to 80 per cent of AP1 submissions involve either traditional post or uploading PDFs of paper documents to the Land Registry’s eDRS (Electronic Document Registration Service) portal – as of November 2022, HM Land Registry will no longer accept scanned or PDF copies of AP1s for changes to existing titles.


This withdrawal of document registration by HM Land Registry means that property firms have to move to the Digital Registration Service (DRS).  HM Land Registry has a point – digitising the process to remove inefficient manual processes, ensuring accuracy and data integrity and delivering a simpler and faster service that benefits all parties, and especially the end customers, makes complete sense. Additionally, a digital process provides full visibility of matters, supported by audit trails, to help with reporting to regulators too.  


The good news for Lexis Visualfiles case management customers is that a tried and tested solution exists, that can help them easily transition to the new process. Lexis Visualfiles integrates with InfoTrack for seamless management of AP1 applications and requisitions with the DRS. In fact, the InfoTrack integration is as close as it can possibly be to a plug and play solution for AP1 submissions. Once implemented, case workers access InfoTrack with one click of the ‘QuickStep’ button in Lexis Visualfiles. It really doesn’t get simpler than this.


From a case and requisition management standpoint, there are three key features of a Lexis Visualfiles-InfoTrack integration that especially deserve a shout out:


  1. Pre-population of data. Up to 90 per cent of the AP1 form is pre-populated using data from matters residing in Lexis Visualfiles, the single source of truth on all cases. There’s no copying and pasting, no rekeying – all activities that are inherently error-prone. The time saving per case is significant too.


  1. Document returns. Any documents or information ordered via InfoTrack are automatically attached to the relevant matter. Case workers don’t need to look for such documents in their inboxes or download folders. This process also includes the auto attachment of the SDLT5.


  1. Financial integration. All disbursements are automatically posted back to Lexis Visualfiles, which means that there is no need for case workers to manually enter cost of recoveries, and so the possibility of missed disbursements in greatly minimised.     


With the clock ticking, the sooner firms put in place measures to accommodate digital AP1 submissions, the smoother the transition will be. Crucially, it will save firms problems resulting from requisition backlogs as a result of hurriedly adopted solutions right at the last minute. For a demonstration of how the Lexis Visualfiles – InfoTrack integration works, please get in touch with your Lexis Visualfiles account manager or message the general enquiries desk

Tags: Visualfiles

About the Author:

Martin has been involved in Legal IT for over 30 years and has worked for companies such as Equitrac, Pilgrim, Pracctice, Visualfiles and LexisNexis. In his current role as Key Account Manager he looks after 50 of the largest Visualfiles / SolCase clients and is responsible for making sure his clients get the most out of their systems and are fully aware of the benefits.

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