Delays at the Land Registry
Prior to the Covid 19 pandemic Land Registry applications were usually completed within 4 weeks, and minor applications within 2 weeks. However, the Government have recently stated that the Land Registry complete half of applications to register for the first time in about 15 months and almost all of them with 17 months.
With regard to applications for properties that have already been registered for the first time, i.e. re-registrations and other minor applications such as changes of name or address, these take about 4 months.
The Land Registry receive about 2 million applications per month, and so the lengthy turn around time is understandable.
Processing times often cause problems for owners who have applied to remortgage their property following completion of their purchase, or who are re-selling the property after a short amount of time, as mortgagees and solicitors will insist on evidence of ownership before proceeding with the matter. Evidence of ownership is provided by the Title Register which often continues to show the prior ownership details.
In such cases you can apply for an expedite. Expedites are usually processed within 10 days. To make an expedite application you will have to instruct your solicitor to apply to the Land Registry using their Land Registry Portal. The land Registry do not charge for this, although your solicitor may levy a small fee.
Current Monthly Registrations Completed (2023 Nov)
Re-Registrations - 344,000
First Registrations and Complex Registrations - 36,000
Given that more than 2 million applications are received monthly then the future bodes a significant and on-going increase in registration time.
Evidence that the Application has been Received
Sometimes errors are made by solicitors and others in applying for registration. This may either be the failure to apply for registration at all, or as is frequently the case, not providing all the information the Land Registry require to process an application, resulting in the need for the Registry to send requisitions to the applicant, which are not always answered or not answered in timely fashion.
Most customers just want to be certain their application has been received and is in the queue.
Application to Check the Progress of a Registration
To check that the registration has been properly made and is not held up because of failure to answer requisitions, an application can be made for a copy of the Land Registry’s Day List. This is a register created upon receipt of an application and provides sufficient detail to recognise what it is, when it was made and who by. The contents of the Day List can be obtained by selecting the Application to Check the Progress of a Registration.