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Regulation & Law

Council hits back after being revealed as slowest for conveyancing searches in the UK

Firm launched recently by TV presenter Phil Spencer says Stratford District Council has taken up to 95 days to complete searches and that 15% of councils exceed government's 10-day guideline.

Nigel Lewis

conveyancing searches stratford

A local council has hit back after research by TV presenter Phil Spencer’s property data company MoveIQ identified it as the slowest in the UK to complete conveyancing searches.

Using Freedom of Information requests, MoveIQ found that Stratford District Council can take 95 days to carry out searches and that 15% of councils are failing to meet a government target to complete searches within 10 days.

A spokesman for the council has released a statement to say that although concern had been raised about the performance of its  service, he said 95 days was the “oldest outstanding search” at that time.

“This has given the erroneous impression that Stratford District Council is unaware of or does not care about providing a good service,” says Councillor Daren Pemberton (left).

“Nothing could be further from the truth and this is not where we want to be as an authority.

“Earlier this year I announced an investment of £315,000 in a new IT system for the service, which has also had an additional staff member recruited.

“The current antiquated paper-based system is unable to meet the demands now placed upon it. That project has been under way for some months and the new system goes live later this year.”

Conveyancing searches

Other councils identified by MoveIQ for not meeting the 10-day standard for conveyancing searches include Wyre Forest, Rochford, Herefordshire and Epping Forest.

The most expensive councils are Hammersmith & Fulham at £333.50; Brent (£320); Croydon (£305); Kingston upon Thames (£303.50p) and Kensington & Chelsea (£303.50).

“The Prime Minister has pledged to fix what she herself describes as Britain’s ‘broken’ housing market, yet our research reveals that councils across the country are adding needless delays and expense to the home buying process,” says Phil Spencer (right).

November 8, 2018

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