HMLR Announce 1,000 New Staff To Alleviate Leasehold Extensions And Updates
HM Land Registry (HMLR) has acknowledged serious problems leading to backlogs in service by employing 1,000 new staff over the past eighteen months.
Following the financial crisis and subsequent housing crash in 2008, HMLR inevitably reduced their staffing burden and have struggled to increase their staffing levels to meet demand as the housing market started to recover.
This staffing shortage has contributed towards delays in service of up to six months in the worst of cases.
In particular, leaseholders looking to amend and update their leases have been struck with the most extensive delays. In some cases, the backlog has meant that too many leaseholders are waiting more than six months before the changes to their leasehold title are made.
Unfortunately, for many that are making changes before they place their home on the market or whilst it is up for sale, the delays are resulting in increasing fall through rates.
HMLR will only fast track leasehold updates and extension applications if the seller is able to prove an offer has been made. In this circumstance, HMLR will endeavour to make the relevant changes within two working weeks.
The Land Registry has also confirmed that 96% of all property transaction applications are processed in a timely fashion. However, it conceded that leasehold issues and applications have been significantly delayed in recent months.
It hopes that the 1,000 new recruits will help to reduce the backlog and create a more efficient service.
Simon Law, member of the Society of Licensed Conveyancers, commented:
“They haven’t been able to increase their staffing levels enough to meet the increasing demand.”
“If you need to get a lease updated to replace an obsolete maintenance clause, for example, or you need the term to be increased before you look to sell, a six-month delay is a long time to be sat waiting.
“And if you do find a buyer, you have no idea if they will be happy to wait for that time.”
Have conveyancers noticed a substantial delay in leasehold transactions?