How Is COVID-19 Affecting HM Land Registry?
Posted on 31st March 2020
What is the role of HM Land Registry?
The Land Registry, for properties that are registered, hold all such records relating to a particular property, inclusive of the ownership, any rights and restrictions that may be affecting the same and any charges that may have been registered. This allows your Preston solicitors to carry out the necessary title checks to ensure the integrity of the property you intend to purchase, and that the same is to be free from adversity or incumbrance.
Your conveyancing solicitor can access the Land Registry via an online portal which provides access to the key services offered. HM Land Registry offer a range of services, all of which are vital to your conveyance, inclusive of the following, as just a handful of examples:
Registering Legal Ownership
On Completion of your property purchase or transfer, your Preston solicitors make an application to the Land Registry for the title to the same to be registered in your name(s). The Land Registry then have the opportunity to review the application, and affect the change in their records. In some instances, the Land Registry may issue Requisitions, which are, in effect, queries they may have about the application, that may require more information.
In some cases, it may be necessary to register a restriction against the title to a property which would, effectively, restrict dispositions of the property without the consent of another person or entity. Such restrictions are commonly used where there is a third-party interest in the property, for example, a management company who wishes to ensure specific covenants affecting a property are adequately complied with. See our Preston solicitors’ blog on how the same can be of importance to your conveyance.
The Land Registry has a unique Map Search facility which, as it says on the tin, allows for a map style search to be carried out in a particular area. This is often used in a number of instances by your solicitors in Preston, for example:-
(a) Where properties are unregistered, for clarity as to the property boundaries, and confirmation that they are, indeed, unregistered.
(b) Where the boundaries are irregular, for a clearer view of the same in context of the surrounding area. This may assist your conveyancing solicitor in more clearly delineating the same.
(c) For confirmation of the title number. The facility, when selecting a particular area, will tell you not only whether the property is registered or not but, if registered, the title number will also be revealed.
These are the searches that your Preston solicitors will refer to as the ‘pre-completion searches’. Such searches allow your conveyancing solicitor to lodge your priority over the property, in order to prevent any other persons registering an interest over the same. these searches last for a set period of time and, therefore, would, ordinarily, only be carried out when Completion was nearing.
This is just a handful of the services offered by the Land Registry and, as you can see, their role is of high importance to your conveyance and, therefore, our Preston solicitors have been following updates closely, for clarity as to how such services may be affected by the COVID-19 uncertainty.
How is the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting HM Land Registry?
The Land Registry have, today, released information about how their services may be affected by COVID-19. Whilst they are working to minimise any form of disruption, customers are being advised that, due to a high volume of enquires they are receiving, there may be a delay in applications being dealt with.
The customer support centre is, currently, not taking telephone calls, however, works are being undertaken to resolve this as soon as possible.
The e-services, which are used by our Preston solicitors, are said to be still fully functioning and accessible. This enables your conveyancer to ensure that any necessary applications that are to be submitted on your behalf, can still be done through the online portal. If, therefore, you have a registration matter to deal with, whether it be a voluntary registration of some unregistered land, or the registration of a change in ownership to your property, contact our solicitors in Preston today, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our expert team will be on hand to assist.
See our blog, on first registrations, for more information, here.
The Land Registry have advised that, there will be further updates on their services, to follow. Our team of Preston solicitors will be following the same closely and will, of course, be keeping our valued clients accordingly updated, as always.
Our team do, of course, hope that you are, of course, all staying safe.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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