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Land Registry Delays | Expediting Registrations at HM Land Registry (HMLR)

If you have purchased property in the last 3 years it may not be registered in your name at Land Registry due to historic backlogs. You can check this online by using the official Land Registry portal. See my Article on Obtaining Your Deeds for more information on how to do this.

Both Conveyancers, and the public, have access to the online portal of filed deeds. These are public documents and copies may be downloaded for a small fee. Nothing is confidential, including party names, addresses and the price paid.

Like most Government bodies Land Registry are slow and understaffed. As a result there is a huge backlog. This was the case pre-Covid and is now far worse. Current estimates are that registrations take approximately 10 to 12 months for simple matters (I.e. not leasehold or new builds). The more complex transaction types take even longer.

Expediting Registrations

If you are remortgaging, or selling, and need the registration to go through urgently you can request your registration be expedited via your Conveyancer. You need to have a good reason for your request. For example you are suffering financial distress, your mortgage offer will expire shortly or parties in your chain are threatening to withdraw.

You must be able to provide evidence. The Registry are well aware that If they could, everyone would request their registration be expedited. Expediting any registration then becomes impossible as Land Registry cannot do them all at the same time.

You can liaise with your Conveyancer who can assist you with an expedition request. However, bear in mind that even after expediting a registration the Registry may take up to 10 working days, or longer, to complete this. Plus, before registration they can raise enquiries or requisitions and these must be satisfied. Points raised are usually requests for more documents, information or evidence where the Registry are not satisfied with the information to date.

If you bought with a mortgage or finance then non-registration will breach your lender's terms and conditions. You are required to obtain registration in a timely fashion. A lender can take action for non-registration. Even where this is outside of your control.

The Registry is not required to complete a registration and will not do so if not satisfied. They can also cancel applications which they feel are substantially defective. It is vital therefore to be sure your Conveyancer has all they need before completion as registration into your name is not guaranteed. This is yet another reason that Conveyancers must be thorough. Something which takes time.

There are numerous mainstream articles on the delays at Land Registry. For example:

Wales Online

Wales Online article on Land Registry delays

LinkedIn Professionals

LinkedIn & Telegraph

Land Registry delays

Yahoo Finance & Telegraph

Land Registry backlog

The Guardian

Homeowners suffer due to Land Registry delays


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