What Is Registration And How Long Does It Take?

‘What Is Registration And How Long Does It Take?’ Timms Conveyancer Katie Holmes discusses in her latest blog…

After a property or land is purchased, transferred or mortgaged, it must be registered at the Land Registry. The Land Registry keeps a reliable record of information about ownership and interests affecting land and property. It provides owners with a land title, guaranteed by the government.

Before, During & After Completion

Shortly before completion of a property purchase, the buyer’s conveyancer will carry out an official search of the property register. This is to firstly ascertain whether there have been any changes to the title since the start of the transaction and secondly to “freeze” the register in favour of the incoming purchaser (or their mortgage lender). The freezing of the register is usually for around 30 days and it ensures that no-one else, aside from the incoming purchaser, can register an interest or ownership of the property. This is called the priority period. After completion but during the priority period, the buyer’s conveyancer must lodge the buyer’s application for registration. This is especially important if the buyer is mortgage funded. In order to compile a successful application for registration, certain documents are required, in particular both the buyer’s and seller’s transfer deed, mortgage deed if applicable, stamp duty return certificate, evidence of a previous mortgage having been discharged and any other documents depending on the circumstances of the transaction.

If all these documents are available during the priority period then the buyer’s conveyancer can lodge a complete application. If there are no discrepancies, the Land Registry will change the name on the legal title, remove any previous mortgages and add any new mortgages. The buyer’s conveyancer will receive updated office copies of the registered title from the Land Registry, and the buyer will be given a copy to prove registration has been successful.

Barriers To Registration

However, there can be barriers to successful registration. For example, certificates of compliance required from management companies often are not received by the buyer’s conveyancer until much later or the Land Registry may raise a “requisition” which is a request for further information. The buyer’s conveyancer is given a certain amount of time to provide the information further to the requisition. Failure to provide the information will see the application for registration cancelled.

To add further complication, the Land Registry is dealing with a significant backlog, possibly due to the demand during the Covid pandemic, and it is taking them in excess of 2 years to deal with applications for registrations of new titles such as new builds, new leases and transfers of part. More straight-forward registrations are taking around 6-8 months to be processed.

Please do not be alarmed if, after completion, you do not receive your registration documents straight away. At Timms, we always make sure to obtain as much of the required documentation on or before completion and lodge the application within the priority period but after that we must wait for the Land Registry to process the application and, unless there is a sale which is being held up by the pending registration, unfortunately the Land Registry will not expedite the application.

Our post-completion clerk ensures applications are lodged in a timely manner, clients and lenders are kept updated and that any requisitions are dealt with as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

How We Can Help

If you have any questions regarding registration, the Land Registry or the conveyancing process in general, please feel free to contact either myself or any of my team on freephone 0800 011 6666 or via email at k.holmes@timms-law.com. Alternatively, visit the Conveyancing section of our website here.


Katie Holmes

January 2023

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