News: Land Registry suffering chaotic delays

Brokers and conveyancers are experiencing title registration delays of up to six months, according to reports.

Many professionals have experienced the delays first hand.

Emma Coffey, business development and sales manager at the Leeds-based law firm Blacks Connect, said requests for post-completion registration have been very inconsistent, taking from a day to several months.

She said she had experienced problems in several key areas: first registrations; new leases; and lease extensions and variations.

She added: "These aren't straightforward areas to deal with and I would guess that the back-ups are down to the Land Registry simply not having enough skilled staff to deal with the pick-up in business volumes."

Harpal Singh, managing director at Broker Conveyancing, said his firm had seen delays of up to six months.

He said: "You expect this to take a couple of weeks but six months is ludicrous. And I can't see it getting better."

What is happening at the Land Registry?

The Land Registry is a non-ministerial government department created in 1862 to register the ownership of land and property in England and Wales.

It is one of the largest databases in Europe, and processed £1 million of property every minute during the property boom in 2007.

Now it has issued a statement about the delays in processing registration applications, insisting these delays do not hold up property transactions.

A spokeswoman said: "Reflecting the general upturn in the property market, our intakes of new leases... are at a significantly higher level than in previous years. As we will never compromise on accuracy or quality, this has led to a longer processing time in some cases."

She adds that the organisation is taking steps to reduce delays:

  • recruiting more operational staff
  • introducing targeted overtime
  • developing digital services

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