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Land registry delays and how they affect you and your property.

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Lewis Banks is a Trainee Solicitor in the residential conveyancing team at Stephen Rimmer solicitors.  In his latest article he talks about "The Registration Gap" and how it may be an issue if you decide to sell or remortgage your property.


The legal transfer of ownership in registered freehold or leasehold title only takes effect once it has been registered at the Land Registry. The “Registration Gap” is the period of between your completion date and when registration of ownership is completed at the land registry.

During the Registration Gap the new owner will only hold a beneficial interest in the property, despite the fact they have paid the sale price and have been handed the keys.  The property is being held on trust by the sellers until they become registered as the new proprietor.

Stamp duty holiday backlog

The stamp duty holiday, which occurred between July 2020 and September 2021, caused a brisk revival of the property market and a huge increase in registration applications with the registry.  Given the Covid-19 restrictions at the time and the vast number of applications, the Registration Gap grew and grew.  Purchasers are finding that even now, over 18 months after the end of the stamp duty holiday, they are still not the registered proprietors of their properties.

This delay should not be a source of concern for buyers, the land registry is processing applications in priority order and the general dealings of the property will not be affected in any way. Unless you decide to sell or re-mortgage.

Applying for expedition

If a property is to be sold or refinanced, the original solicitor can apply to the land registry to expedite the original application. Provided it can be shown that the delay is impacting the other application. If expedition is approved, the land registry can process the application within 10 working days. Nevertheless, if requisitions are raised then there can still be delays.

Once you have been registered as the new proprietor you will be able to proceed with the transaction.

For more information on land registry issues and any other Property matters, please contact our experts in our property team for a free initial consultation on 01323 644222 or email

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