Third Of Local Authorites Fail To Meet 10 Day Search Deadline

A third of local authorities are struggling to return local searches within the Government imposed guideline of 10 working days. 

At the start of 2019, the then Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, indicated that 80% of local authorities in England and Wales were successfully returning searches within ten working days. 

However, committed to improve the efficiency and speed of the home buying and selling process, even this number was deemed insufficient.  

Unfortunately, this figure has declined in recent months and local authorities are ending the year with a mere 68.5% of local authorities meeting a ten working day deadline for September and October. 

Whilst the vast majority (84%) were able to return searches with 15 working days, too many searches were delayed beyond this extended timeframe. 

Local authority areas such as Lambeth, Manchester, Bolton, Dartford, Solihul, Suffolk Coastal and West Somerset were found to be the fastest and most efficient at returning search results. 

Conversely, Camden, Stafford, Cherwell, Greenwich, Adur, Bridgend, Maldon and South Kesteven were found to produce the slowest search results.      

A spokesperson from Viewmychain, commented:  

“It’s difficult to attribute the slowing down of search timeframes to a single factor. Instead, the issue should be viewed as the result of several problematic external influences.  

The government itself is disconnected from the process, and therefore does not appear to fully understand the steps that must be taken to deliver searches, and how these steps can be sped up.  

A lack of resources and stricter budgets have exacerbated the problem, slowing down the sales process. 

“Time is of the essence when buying and selling homes, with many different parties keen to facilitate an exchange as quickly as possible.  

However, when it comes to searches and other legal requirements it can be difficult for agents to speed the process along. There are tools out there to assist with the home moving journey, though.” 


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