BUYING a home without the need for paper deeds is much closer after the Government approved changes to pave the way for the introduction of digital land registration.

It could mean the end of signing physical paperwork for homes.

The changes have been announced following a public consultation last year.

The process will become simpler, faster and cheaper, according to chief land registrar Graham Farrant.

The changes to land registration rules, which will come into effect on April 6, will strengthen protection from cyber attacks and digital fraud.

The rule changes will allow the land registry to introduce fully-digital conveyancing documents such as mortgages and transfers.

“Our customers are central to everything we do and we want to make dealing with us quicker and simpler by providing more services through digital technology,” Mr Farrant said.

“These changes are an important enabler for our digital transformation and I want to thank our customers for their positive responses to the consultation.”

Farrant also pointed out that the changes will benefit customers by allowing the land registry to build new and more flexible statutory services that have been called for by the industry, and other electronic services will improve the assistance offered to them throughout the application process.

The land registry will be contacting customers in the coming weeks to explain any changes that will affect the way they submit applications, though these are expected to be minimal, and will only affect a small number of customers.