The Land Registry publishing data

The Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC) cautiously welcomes the Land Registry’s decision to publish data in respect of requisitions. However, the Society is concerned that without context the information that the Land Registry is proposing to publish could be misleading. Firms that deal with new title applications (plots purchased and leases) and a high volume of leasehold transactions could be disadvantaged as these applications invariably raise unavoidable requisitions. As an example, one of our member firms report that of their requisitions in 2017, 33% related to Certificates of Compliance from Landlord/Management Companies and 9% related to discharges awaiting release from existing lenders. In other words, over 40% of their requisitions were outside of their control. The Society is concerned that one unintended consequence of publishing this information could be that conveyancers delay OS1 submissions which would be entirely counter-productive.

It must be clear to the public that requisition rates are post completion matters, and therefore are not necessarily an indication of the Conveyancers performance or quality of service in the home buying process. It must be stressed that releasing this data will have no direct impact on the speed of conveyancing for home buyers and sellers.

The Land Registry announcement comes at a time when long standing backlogs of work within their department have still not been cleared. The SLC also believes that there should be a quid pro quo whereby the delays and problems caused to conveyancers are finally resolved to truly demonstrate that the Land Registry is playing in its part in making conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper. Perhaps “Heal thyself” is an appropriate mantra here.

This article was submitted to be published by The Society of Licensed Conveyancers as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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