Delays at the Land Registry

Land Registry delays in processing applications have been causing chaos in the property sectors. There is concern as to why applications that have been submitted have not been completed amongst purchasers and lenders.

The Land Registry have been operating with significant delays since before the pandemic, but this has been exacerbated in the past year. An application can sit for a year waiting to be processed and then when it is requisitions are raised with a relatively short time being provided for them to be answered.

This can cause delayed refinances, landlord’s being unable to grant leases because their purchase has not been registered, developers being unable to sell new houses, landlords being unable to serve notices.

Where a delayed application is causing financial hardship the conveyancer can ask the Land Registry to expedite the application. However, it is imperative that evidence of the hardship is submitted otherwise the request will be instantly dismissed by the Land Registry. If there are queries with the application and requisitions raised, these will need to be dealt with.

A purchaser of a legal title does not become the legal owner of the property until they are registered as proprietor at the Land Registry. In the interim period the seller is the registered owner and the purchaser is the owner in equity. The seller holds the property on trust for the equitable owner until registration is completed.

If you are experiencing a significant delay in receiving your registration documents it is worth checking in with your solicitor to see what if anything can be done to speed it up. We hope these delays clear up soon.

Paula Felton

UHNW Property Specialist

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