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Electronic Signatures and Registered Land

Monday, 21 February 2022

A major roadblock on the path to e-conveyancing has been removed by new regulations that permit electronic signatures to be used on documents for the acquisition, disposal, creation and registration of interests in registered land.   

The legal basis for recognition of electronic signatures in Ireland is the Electronic Commerce Act 2000 (the “e-Commerce Act”). With the exception of property contracts, the provisions permitting the use of electronic signatures did not (until now for registered land) apply to the acquisition, disposal, creation or registration of an interest (including a leasehold interest) in real property.  

The Electronic Commerce Act 2000 (Application of sections 12 to 23 to Registered Land) Regulations 2022 apply the provisions of the e-Commerce Act to transactions in registered land. For the time being, transactions involving unregistered title remain outside the scope of the e-Commerce Act.

While the regulations are now in force, guidelines on the implementation of this radical change have not yet been published by the Property Registration Authority.    

If you wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Michael Walsh or Alison O'Sullivan of our Property/Real Estate team, or your usual ByrneWallace LLP contact.