Delays at the Land Registry – What this means for you

You have completed your property transaction, this may be the purchase of your first home, the transfer of a property following a loved one’s death or the new lease of your business premises. But following completion, your solicitor explains that delays at the Land Registry will take months, sometimes over a year, to register this change. 

Why are there delays at the Land Registry? 

The Land Registry have experienced delays since the first COVID lockdown in 2020. As the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday increased the number of property transactions taking place, this meant the volume of applications they had to process increased, causing further delays. 

How long are the Land Registry taking to process applications?

The Land Registry’s latest statistics from May 2024 show they process round 2.4m applications a month, 83.1% of these are delivered within the day. These applications can relate to anything, from an application to obtain copies of a title register to applications to update a title register.

The Land Registry deal with approximately 336,000 applications to update a title register (e.g. following a purchase or change of ownership) per month. 36.8% of these are taking longer than a month to be completed. 

The above graphic is taken from – HM Land Registry: Information on how quickly applications are processed

What happens to my application at the Land Registry?

Once your application is submitted to the Land Registry it is “priority protected” meaning that if another application was to be lodged behind it or at a later date, your application would take priority. 

How can I speed up my Land Registry application? 

Land Registry applications can be expedited under two circumstances, where a delay to process the application would:

  • cause problems not related to a land transaction
  • put a property sale or any kind of property transaction at risk, for example, a refinancing deal or development

Examples of evidence include an estate agents memorandum of sale, a contract for sale or a recently issued mortgage offer. 

An explanation can be given in cases of problems or hardship, either financial or personal, to justify why the application should be completed as soon as possible. The Land Registry will then assess the evidence provided and if they approve of the application to expedite, they will then aim to complete the application in around 10 working days. These decisions usually take 1-2 days to be made. 

Your solicitor will submit your application and any expedite request via the Land Registry’s business portal. 

How Moore Barlow can help

Our team of Property and land lawyers deal with the Land Registry on a day to day basis regarding a variety of applications. We can help with any queries you have, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.