Coronavirus (COVID-19): this week’s update from Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar Simon Hayes 

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Dear HM Land Registry customers

I am writing to you with the latest update on how our services are running and how we are meeting your needs during this unusual period.

Service updates

Since 17 June we have been able to process more register update applications than we received, and have therefore been able to reduce the queue of applications waiting to be processed by about 25% (approximately 57,000 applications). At the same time we have reduced the queue of register create applications waiting to be processed (primarily transfers of part and first leases) by approximately 6,000.

We are processing all expedited applications within 10 days, except for those where we are awaiting information or confirmation from other parties. Applications are being expedited via our portal’s Application Enquiry service or our online contact form.

We continue to review how best we can fulfil your priorities in the short and long term now that we have equipped all of our expert people to work remotely. This may result in changes to some services if feedback and evidence suggests that would be welcomed.

In order for us to speed up the completion of existing applications, please use Reply to Requisition to provide additional information, or attach missing documents during the course of an application.

More will be shared in the coming months and all changes to service provision will be updated on our website and highlighted through portal messages, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Our Annual Report

Last week we published our Annual Report and Accounts 2019/20. It outlines the way in which we are transforming the organisation to meet the operational challenges we face. As part of this, interaction with our customers is pivotal as we seek to improve and innovate, especially with technology and new digital services. Our Customer Support Centre handled close to a million calls and processed 196,055 emails in 2019/20. Nearly 95% of our services were delivered via our online business portals and more than 83.6% of customer requests were fully automated.

Read the full Annual Report and Accounts.

Fraud risk reminder

When a property is empty it is at an increased risk of property fraud. If you or your customers have had to leave property empty while working from home, or during lockdown in another property, please make sure you take action to minimise your risk of property fraud. Our dedicated page on fraud advice can be added to your websites - This advice includes registering for our free Property Alert service. 

Contacting us

As always, our Contact HM Land Registry page has comprehensive help pages for most enquiries, including the latest information about the impact on our services. You can also choose to ‘send us a message' using our online contact form which means we can provide a faster and more consistent response, getting back to you within five working days (often much sooner).

Our Customer Support Centre has extended our opening hours to respond to urgent calls. Our opening times are now 8am to 12 midday and then 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Thank you

Simon Hayes
Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar