Land Registry delays ‘preventing some sales from being completed’

Organisation has defended its speed of processing preformance despite own data and many industry commentators saying too many property sales are being delayed.

Land Registry Houses image

Admin delays at Land Registry are hurting property market, it has been claimed over the weekend.

The Government department’s latest performance review reveals that it is taking some property registrations up to two years to be completed, stalling re-mortgage applications  and preventing some people from selling their homes, the Observer highlighted.

Its report quotes an MD of a national mortgage brokerage, who reveals how one buyer had not been added to a title deed despite completing on their purchase in December 2021.

The Land Registry own most recent data shows some applications to register land or property for the first time are taking more than 15 months.
Other applications, to divide existing titles or register a new lease take more than 22 months to be completed.

These delays mean some leases remain unregistered, preventing their owners from later selling the property.

Land Registry says despite these criticisms, it handled more than 98% of service requests either immediately or in a matter of weeks.

It says complex applications, which account for 2% of its total intake, took longer for a number of reasons, and it has recruited more than 1,500 caseworkers since 2020 and had created specialist teams that were targeting the oldest cases.

The Property Litigation Association told The Observer that it believed the Land Registry is “fundamentally overstretched”.

All this will be embarrassing for the organisation’s boss, Mike Harlow, who only a few days ago launched a podcast series to promote discussions within the property industry about how to speed up the property sales process.


Land Registry has pointed out that: “Applications to HM Land Registry can be fast-tracked (expedited) free of charge if registration is needed urgently for financial (including remortgaging), legal or personal reasons. More than 95% of expedited cases are processed within 10 days. For more information, please see: Request an expedite – GOV.UK (

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