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Land Registry fails to meet key targets

30 September 2019

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HM Land Registry (HMLR) has failed to meet key targets on reducing conveyancer errors and completing complex register cases, according to its annual performance report.

The report shows that HMLR fell short in its target to reduce the number of requests for information it has to send to law firms that have sent in incomplete or wrong information.

The aim was for these so-called “requisitions” to be issued in no more than 15 per cent of applications, but the report showed they needed to be sent out in 18.94 per cent of applications.

The report said every day more than 3000 requisitions need to be issued due to omissions or inaccurate information in applications to change the register, which is “hindering our ambition to make dealings with us quick and simple and represents an ongoing burden/risk to HM Land Registry and its customers”.

Internally, HMLR said, it has worked to improve its own consistency in the raising of requisitions and thereby improve the data it is sharing with some of its customers. Caseworkers have also received extra training which has led to “significant improvements”. 

Externally, HMLR has worked with the customers who lodge the most applications to improve quality, and has delivered new training and support tools for its customers that have had significant take-up.

“We have implemented new policies for rejection in certain types of application and are trialling new ways of dealing with requisition points that recognise the issues our customers face in obtaining evidence from third parties. We are working with regulators and membership bodies to help improve the quality of applications through the sharing of data and collaborating in joint training and development activities.”

Although HMLR met a number of other key targets, such as completing register updates in set time frames and receiving an overall service rating by customers as good, very good or excellent, it failed in its target of completing 95 per cent of complex register create cases within 25 days, managing only 50 per cent in such cases.

It also just missed out on meeting its target of having 98 per cent of substantive registrations to pass at least 98 per cent of defined quality checks, achieving 97.78 per cent in this area.

In a statement, HM Land Registry chair, Michael Mire (pictured), said: “Even with one of the highest demand years we have seen in recent times, we still retained good customer satisfaction and achieved our quality targets. However, while we have met the standard for first registration of unregistered land and large housing developments we are not yet meeting the standard for other complex new title work. Tackling this will be our top priority for next year.”

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