CoPSO Claim Searches Are Not To Blame For Delays
The Council of Property Search Organisations (CoPSO) has criticised the media for lambasting the searches sector for slowing down the home buying and selling process.
They acknowledge that some local authorities may be guilty of slow search return times but assured the sector that the majority are returned within the Government recommended time frame of 10 working days.
Media stories have followed Viewmychains research which found that 68.5% of local authorities were able to meet a ten working day deadline for September and October.
Whilst the vast majority (84%) were able to return searches with 15 working days, the figures were falling well short of the Government’s suggestions at the start of the year that 80% of local authorities were returning searches within 10 working days.
James Sherwood-Rogers, Chairman of CoPSO, said:
“The average turnaround time for our members to produce an LLC1 and CON29 remains stable at just under 10 days, which is within the target set by MHCLG.
“It is not search turnaround times that cause delays; rather it is because searches are not ordered in a timely manner. Recent statistics from View My Chain suggest that the average time taken for searches to be ordered when an offer has been accepted subject to contract is 23 days.
“If this is the average, there must be a number of conveyancers that are taking considerably longer than this and they are distorting the picture.
“Whilst some conveyancers are reticent to order searches at acceptance of offer, just in case the purchase falls through, they may be inadvertently increasing the possibility of chains breaking by risking a delay.
“Searches are available in most areas of the UK in just over a week. Those areas where it takes much longer are well known, and a CoPSO member can provide local advice where a conveyancer is not sure.
“To blame the search industry for delays is simply wrong. In fact, the opposite is true – CoPSO campaigns tirelessly on behalf of the search sector to ensure that there is fast access to local authority data, and works hard with stakeholders to ensure conveyancers order searches at the right time, rather than at the last minute.”
Are conveyancers overly cautious in ordering searches? Do local authorities need to improve their efficiency? How can this section of the home buying and selling process become smoother?