Land Registry office

As 2015 begins, we have been looking back at what was a very busy 2014 for Land Registry.

In 2014 our intakes were the highest they have been for over seven years. We have processed over 32 million applications which underpinned property sales worth hundreds of billions of pounds in a buoyant property market.

During this busy time, we have worked hard to ensure that the quality of our work has not suffered, and last year we met our accuracy target of 98 per cent. However we do recognise that this has meant that some applications are taking several days longer to process than our customers are used to although, on average, we are still completing 80 per cent of registration applications within 12 working days.

Remember, under normal circumstances our processing of your application will not delay the overall process of moving house. This is because an application to change the register is protected by priority when lodged with us, and is therefore guaranteed to be processed unless there is a problem with the application.

We continue to engage with conveyancers and lenders to ensure they are aware of the current situation and to understand what impact this is having on their work. At the same time we are doing all we can to speed up our processing times for our customers.

We constantly monitor and rebalance our work across our offices and we are coordinating efforts to address older work. A number of our staff are working increased hours to deal with higher intakes, and our recruitment of new staff last year and more to come this year will also help. In the long term we are moving forward with the development of our digital services to make it easier and quicker for you to deal with us in the future.

There are a number of ways you can help to make things move along more quickly.

  1. You can submit your applications using our electronic Document Registration Service (e-DRS). This provides downloadable proof of lodgement and priority.
  1. You can collect information about a property using our free MapSearch service to
  • establish whether the land or property is registered
  • view the location of registered land or property
  • obtain title numbers, details of freehold or leasehold tenure and other registered interests
  • view the location of pending applications.
  1. You can also make sure your application is processed as quickly as possible by making sure your application is ready to be registered. If we have all the information and documentation we need, we won’t have to issue a requisition which can slow down the process. Currently we need to do this in about 1 in 5 cases.
  1. However if an application does become urgent or is holding up a following transaction, you can contact us and we will see whether there is anything we can do to expedite it.

We will continue to work hard to speed up our processing times, and look forward to another good year for the property market in 2015.

Duncan Chittenden
By Duncan Chittenden,
Head of Customer Engagement at HM Land Registry