In brief: Land Registry acts to tighten up rules

The Land Registry has tightened its rules for solicitors taking statutory declarations on lost or destroyed title deeds. The move follows a case in which a pensioner was conned out of his home when someone impersonated him to obtain a certificate from the registry. The registry has issued guidelines requiring solicitors or licensed conveyancers to provide the applicant's permanent address, date of birth and a passport-sized photograph certified on the back by the solicitor. The lawyer must also verify the applicant's identity by inspecting the original of at least one of the following: passport, full driving licence, armed forces identity card or well-known employers' ID card.