The Land Registry's tapping tech startups to make property more digital with artificial intelligence and chatbots

 
Lynsey Barber
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Proptech startups and Land Registry are joining forces (Source: Getty)

The government department in charge of the country's property and land records is turning to startups for technological innovation.

Land Registry will work with three property technology, or proptech, startups as part of a new programme aimed at improving property transactions

A startup using artificial intelligence to help conveyancers asses risk, Orbital Witness, and another with a chatbot powered by machine learning to improve facilities management, AskPorter, will join the year-long Geovation incubator.

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GetRentr, a property management platform, will also join the scheme, first launched in 2015 by the country's mapping agency Ordnance Survey and this year expanding to proptech with Land Registry for the first time.

"Building more affordable homes is central to the government’s commitment to creating an economy that works for everyone and the partnership between Land Registry and Ordnance Survey is a new and exciting chapter of this," said business minister Lord Prior.

"The Geovation programme encourages and supports the growing number of new startups driving innovation in the housing sector. Geovation is now supporting six new proptech and geotech companies to develop new technologies to propel the UK towards becoming a global leader in the land and property market."

A further three startups will join the latest cohort on the mapping technology, or geotech, side: FlowX, a congestion prediction tool, Safe & the City, an app which identifies the safest routes home, and Explaain, a media tool working on contextual alerts and reminder based on location.

Land Registry set out plans over the summer to make itself more digital, including exploring the used of blockchain and artificial intelligence technology

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"Digitisation will allow us to provide our customers - citizens, firms, government, lawyers and conveyancers, and financial institutions - with information and data which are renowned for their accuracy and usefulness," said the body's chair Michael Mire in its annual report.

"Land Registry’s strategy is to make its part in developing, buying and selling land and property, and collateralising mortgages and loans to provide finance, almost totally frictionless."

By the end of the year it's aiming to get a new tool up and running that will allow mortgages deeds to be signed online.

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