About our services
HM Land Registry service standards detail how we deal with customers and applications received.
Application quality standards
We aim to deal with all applications without making any mistakes. If we do make a mistake, we will try to put it right as soon as possible. Our target is to complete 98% of applications without error.
Between 1 April 2016 and 28 February 2017, we accurately completed 99% of our applications.
We have completed 24.2 million applications in the last 12 months.
Application speed of service
We aim to deal with all information services applications (such as official searches, official copies or searches of the index map) within 3 working days. More complex applications may take longer but we will contact you if this is the case. Requests to expedite will not be considered until 3 working days have elapsed.
Between 1 April 2016 and 28 February 2017, we handled, on average, 69,004 information requests each working day and completed 99% within 3 working days.
We have completed 19.4 million information services applications in the last 12 months.
Updates to existing registers
For registration services applications, which involve an update to an existing register, we aim to complete 70% within 5 working days.
Between 1 April 2016 and 28 February 2017, we handled, on average, 17,181 applications to update existing registers each working day and completed 79% within 5 working days.
Completion times fluctuate throughout the year and the current average completion time for updates to existing registers is 7 working days.
We have completed 4.3 million updates to existing registers in the last 12 months.
For registration services applications involving the creation of a new register (such as new leases and first registrations), we aim to complete 60% of these within 25 working days by March 2017.
Between 1 April 2016 and 28 February 2017, we handled, on average, 1,991 new title applications each working day and completed 20% within 25 days.
We currently receive 9% more applications to update or create a register than we did between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014.
This has created a backlog of applications to process, particularly ‘new title’ applications like first registrations and new leases that require more work and involve more stages. As a result, our processing times on new title applications are longer than we aim for and we know that in some cases this is causing problems.
The current average completion times for new title applications by their type is:
- First Registrations 68 working days
- New Leases 69 working days
- Transfers of Part 63 working days
These are average completion times and your application may take longer or be complete sooner.
We have completed 501,757 new title applications in the last 12 months.
If you do not have access to this, use our online contact form.
We will not approve supporting evidence for an application before we have received the application.
We aim to reply to written correspondence and emails within 5 working days. If we cannot do this, we will write to explain why and tell you when you can expect a reply.
This standard does not apply to requests for information under the Data Protection Act (DPA) or Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. We will respond to DPA requests within forty calendar days and we will respond to FOI requests within twenty working days.
If you call us, we will try to answer your question straight away. If we cannot do this, we will contact you within 5 working days with a reply, or tell you when you can expect one.
Textphone and Minicom users can contact us using the text relay service. Use the 18001 prefix followed by the number.
We aim to respond to posts on our support forum within 2 hours during service hours (9am to 5pm on weekdays) and within one working day outside of service hours (weekends and overnight).
By using the forum you agree to our discussion policy.
HM Land Registry information and services are available online and by post, so it may not be necessary to visit one of our Customer Information Centres.
If you do need to visit us, you must make an appointment, giving at least 72 hours notice. We aim to see visitors with an appointment at the appointed time.
We offer advice as part of our application handling process and through customer support and publications.
We only provide factual information and impartial advice about our procedures:
- factual information includes official copies of registers, title plans, searches, forms and fees.
- procedural advice includes explaining how the land registration system works and how to make applications
If there’s a problem with your application, we can give advice as to the nature of the problem and what options may be available to put it right, but cannot advise on what action to take.
We do not give legal advice and cannot recommend a professional advisor, but can explain how to find one.
We only provide advice about real cases, not theoretical circumstances. We will not express a view on questions where the law is complicated or unclear, unless the question arises on a live registration application.
In giving advice, we will avoid any conflict of interest and recognise that others may be affected by what we say.
We offer some information in alternative formats, such as audio tape or large print. Let us know if you need information in an alternative format and we will do our best to help.
Suggestions or compliments
Suggestions for improvements will always be considered, but may not be possible for us to implement.
Any compliments received will be passed on to the staff concerned.
If you feel unhappy with the way in which we have dealt with you, we want you to let us know so that we can put matters right, if we can. If we have got something wrong, your complaint will also give us a chance to try to improve our service for all our customers.
We will not discriminate against you and will remain impartial in investigating your complaint. We will:
- acknowledge your complaint on the same day it is received
- give you a contact name and telephone number
- review your complaint and usually send you a full response within 5 working days
- tell you within 5 working days if they need more time to respond to your complaint
Read more about our complaints procedure.
Action through court
If you have a grievance with HM Land Registry that cannot be resolved through our complaints procedure and you are considering court action, you should:
get independent legal advice before starting proceedings
read the rules of court (civil procedure rules) for guidance
send any legal proceedings to the HM Land Registry Indemnity and Litigation Group
We treat all customers with courtesy and respect and expect our staff to be treated in the same way.
Some examples of unreasonable behaviour are:
- use of threats, verbal abuse, racist or sexist language, derogatory remarks, or other offensive terms
- unsubstantiated allegations
- refusing to accept our procedures by demanding to only communicate with certain senior members of staff
- contacting different members of staff or making repeated requests with the motive of receiving a different response to what has been stated
- persistently contacting us on matters which are either outside our remit or over which we have no control
If we consider your behaviour unreasonable:
- you will be told why we consider it unreasonable
- you will be asked to change it
- you will be told what action will be taken if you do not change your behaviour.
If unreasonable behaviour continues, we will take action to manage contact with us. This may include:
- not responding to your correspondence
- blocking electronic communication
- terminating abusive or offensive phone calls
- asking you to contact a named member of staff only
- restricting telephone contact to specified days and times only
- restricting all contact to written form only
- restricting the issues we will correspond on
- declining communication on a specific matter
- reading and filing correspondence without a response, unless it provides new information or evidence on the matter (see After we have given our final response)
- asking that contact is through an independent third party, such as Citizens Advice Bureau, legal representative or conveyancer
If you have a disability or mental health issue, we will consider whether your unreasonable behaviour relates to those issues and assess the potential impact of restrictions imposed by us.
If you are dissatisfied with the way that your access has been limited, you should raise your concerns through our complaints process.
After we have given our final response
If we consider that a final response has been given on a specific issue, we will explain that and tell you that we will not respond to you about it further.
This will be considered when:
- there is nothing useful that can be added to what has already been said
- your behaviour is unreasonable
Once this decision has been made, we will not normally communicate with you on that issue unless:
- closure needs to be reiterated
- a new issue or evidence is raised
- a new complaint about the way the matter has been handled is raised