Tens Of Thousands Of AP1 Registrations Awaiting Processing
The recently published ‘number and types of transactions for value’ released by HM Land Registry (HMLR) suggest that HMLR failed to complete applications anywhere close to the average in April.
Overall, the data indicated that just 440 AP1 applications on transfers for value were completed last month.
In contrast, despite lockdown impacting the property market in the final week of March, 55,381 applications were completed.
When compared with April in 2019, last month’s total was almost 60,000 completed applications short. HMLR claim that the data set ‘does not include applications not yet completed or all the applications lodged’ with them.
Anecdotally, Today’s Conveyancer understands that registrations were operating at around 30,000 to 50,000 despite lockdown restrictions freezing the market; a figure significantly higher than the recorded 440.
HMLR have stated that the 440 completed applications form part of 58,000 applications with those completed in April probably expediated cases.
Given that there would seem to be a gulf between the number of registrations recorded by HMLR and their total figure, it seems as though many properties remain unprotected.
This could mean that more firms have been forced to extend OC1 protections at a time when income streams were already put under extreme pressure.
It could also indicate that HMLR are now facing sizeable backlogs which could trigger further delays in the future.
A HMLR Spokesperson has commented:
“The data on ‘transactions for value’ represents only those applications that have been processed and doesn’t reflect the total number we will have received . These will most likely be the expedited cases. The ‘number of types of applications’ data file gives a total of around 58,000 (Dealing of whole of registered title, First Registrations, Transfer of Parts and Dispositionary First Leases). These have been processed and the 440 Transfers for Value forms part of the 58,000.
“Conveyancers do not need to take any further action to protect the transaction once the application has been lodged. Throughout the public health crisis we have maintained all those services that are needed in order for transactions to proceed. All pre-completion searches have been available and all applications post-completion have been received, logged and thereby given priority over any subsequent applications.
“As our capacity to work within the public health guidance has expanded, we have been able to start processing non-urgent applications. In the next few weeks we should have a clearer picture of our productivity in this new operating environment and be able to let customers know what speed of service they can expect in the coming months. In the meantime, any urgent cases can be expedited.”