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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-land-registry-service-standards/our-service-standards
1. Application service standards
1.1 Summary of year to date performance
|Service standard||Target||1 April 2018 to 31 August 2018|
|Application quality||Substantive registrations to pass at least 98% of defined quality checks||98.6%|
|Speed of service for register queries||Complete register queries within 2 days (see note 1)||98.8%|
|Speed of service for register update applications||Complete register updates within 5 working days (see note 2)||94.9%|
|Speed of service for register create applications||Complete complex register creation cases within 25 working days, by 30 September 2018 and sustain through the year (see note 3)||43%|
1.2 Application quality
Our target is for substantive registrations to pass at least 98% of defined quality checks, on average throughout the year.
Between 1 April 2018 and 31 August 2018, 98.6% of our applications passed those defined checks.
We completed 26.1 million applications in the last 12 months.
1.3 Speed of service
We aim to deal with register queries, such as search and hold applications, official copies or registration checks, within 2 working days.
Between 1 August 2018 and 31 August 2018, we handled, on average, 79,218 register queries each working day. Since 1 April 2018, we have completed 98.8% within 2 working days.
We completed 21.1 million register queries in the last 12 months.
This excludes applications which have been assessed within 2 days as not possible to execute within the target timeframe because, for example, we have not received all the information we need to process them, or there are prior applications stopping them from being processed. It also excludes applications where an alternative timescale has been agreed with the customer, which can happen on larger infrastructure projects.
Register update applications
We aim to complete applications which involve an update to an existing register within 5 working days (see note 2).
Between 1 August 2018 and 31 August 2018, we handled, on average, 17,845 applications to update existing registers each working day and completed 94.9% within 5 working days.
Completion times fluctuate throughout the year and the current average completion time for updates to existing registers is 9 working days.
We completed 4.5 million register updates in the last 12 months.
This excludes applications which have been assessed within 5 days as not possible to execute within the target timeframe because, for example, we have not received all the information we need to process them, or there are prior applications stopping them from being processed.
Register create applications
We aim to complete applications involving the creation of a new register (such as new leases and first registrations), within 25 days, by 30 September 2018 and sustain that performance through the remainder of the year (see note 3).
Between 1 August 2018 and 31 August 2018, we handled, on average, 2,057 new title applications each working day and completed 43% within 25 days.
We currently receive 12.7% 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 are:
- first registrations: 36 working days
- new leases: 59 working days
- transfers of part: 52 working days
These are average completion times and your application may take longer or be completed sooner.
We completed 533,928 register create applications in the last 12 months.
If you need more information about the progress of a pending application and are signed up to our Business e-services, use our Application progress service.
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.
These exclude applications which have been assessed within 25 days as not possible to execute within the target timeframe because, for example, we have not received all the information we need to process them, or there are prior applications stopping them from being processed.
2. Customer service standards
Read our customer charter to understand our commitment to you and what we need from you to help us deliver our mission.
2.1 Written correspondence
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 1 month and we will respond to FOI requests within 20 working days.
2.2 Phone calls
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.
2.3 Online support
We aim to respond to posts on our support forum, blog and social media accounts 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 these services, you agree to our discussion policy.
If you need to visit an HM Land Registry office, 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, which includes official copies of registers, title plans, searches, forms and fees
- procedural advice, which 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 what action you should 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.
2.6 Alternative formats
We offer some information in alternative formats, such as audio tape or large print. If you need our information in an alternative format, contact us and we will try to help.
2.7 Local Land Charges
When a request for information is made under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, we will respond within 20 working days.
2.8 Suggestions, compliments and complaints
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 complain, we will remain impartial in investigating your complaint and will not discriminate against you. We will:
- acknowledge your complaint within 24 hours
- review your complaint and usually send you a full response within 5 working days
- tell you within 5 working days if we need more time to respond to your complaint
All complaints are handled following our complaints procedure.
2.9 Unreasonable behaviour
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
- asked to change it
- told what action will be taken if you do not change your behaviour
If your 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 use our complaints procedure to explain this.
2.10 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