Conveyancing Update: I’m purchasing a property, should I worry about the Land Registry delays?

In my recent blog, I explained the difference between registered and unregistered properties (Conveyancing Blog: What is an Unregistered Property? – Guest Walker).

When a property is unregistered with the Land Registry, the proof of ownership is evidenced by a bundle of title deeds or documents.  There is then a process with the Land Registry that needs to be undertaken to register the property following completion of the purchase.

There are currently long delays in registering properties with the Land Registry in England and Wales which understandably is causing frustration amongst homeowners and buyers.  The recent figures have shown that it is taking almost two years for some applications to register a property with the Land Registry to be completed.

I am purchasing an unregistered property

It is usual for the buyers to undertake the registration process following completion (the moving day).  The application for the registration will be sent to the Land Registry following completion.  It is important that you are aware of the delays in the Land Registry registration process.  If you are looking to purchase the property to develop and then sell in a short period of time following the purchase or if you are looking at placing a charge against the property following the purchase or making any alterations to the register, delays with the registration may create problems for you.  It is therefore important that you let your conveyancer know of your intentions in the short period of time following the purchase.

Changes ahead?

It is understood that the Land Registry have recruited more than 1,500 caseworkers since 2020 with the hope that it will allow the old cases to be moved forward.  At the moment, as conveyancers, we are not seeing the impact of this however it is hoped that in due course the waiting time for unregistered properties to go through the registration process will decrease.

Always get advice

If you are in the process of either selling or purchasing an unregistered property, it is extremely important that you let your conveyancing solicitor know at the outset.  They will then be able to advise you on any considerations you need to make and in particular if, as mentioned above, you have a short-term plan in mind, your conveyancer will be able to advise you appropriately.

Our friendly and experienced residential conveyancing team are able to assist with sales or purchases of both registered and unregistered land.  They can be contacted on 01904 624903.

Amanda Alden