HM Land Registry reveal most application rejections can be easily avoided

Recent data from HM Land Registry suggests that human error is responsible for the majority of applications being rejected.

In a response to a Freedom of Information Request, Land Registry have revealed the most common reasons which result in them having to reject a received application.

Totalling 36,991 over the last 12 months, an application being “defective” with “no fee paid” is the most common reason for HM Land Registry to reject it.

Having recently revised their rejection policy, the Registry state that only applications which have no prospect of success would typically be rejected. This also includes applications where ID confirmation is absent or those which have been cancelled previously and suggested amendments have not been made.

This suggests that for those that have been rejected, the defects would have been substantial.

However, given that the reasons for rejection extend beyond simply “defective”, it seems that certain problems are occurring commonly enough for them to deserve their own category.

At 10,652, “identity information not supplied for all parties by conveyancer” was the second most common cause of rejection. HM Land Registry stress that they rely upon the steps which conveyancers take to verify a client’s identity in order to prevent land registration fraud.

Required for numerous types of application, conveyancers are likely to be affected by the identity confirmation in one of two ways:

  • Sending HM Land Registry and application on behalf of a client
  • Providing evidence of identity for an unrepresented person involved in a transaction.

Whilst the seriousness of the defect is unknown, the figures suggest that the majority of applications rejected had issues on two counts. Rather than just a defect – coming in at third place with 4,697 rejections – over 36,000 applications also lacked the necessary fee.

Fees are a standard aspect of an application and for such a high number to be rejected, in part for this reason, suggests that further awareness or guidance is needed.

This similarly applies to the provision of identity confirmation. Not only does it delay the process of an application when it’s rejected, establishing identity is essential to prevent fraud and criminal activity as opposed to solely being an administrative requirement. Although the rejections in this category may not be only due to human error, the large volume is arguably concerning.

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HM Land Registry’s Practice Guide 49 provides guidance on how an application should be filled in as well as giving reasons why rejection might occur.

The guide can be accessed here.


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