Coronavirus (COVID-19): temporary measures to support customers

How we are delivering our services during the coronavirus outbreak.

Our priority is to ensure property transactions can continue to progress in line with the most recent public health guidance.

Request an application to be expedited

You can ask HM Land Registry to process your application urgently. The expedite (fast-track) process is available for applications where a delay would cause significant issues.

Impact on our services

Register queries

Register queries, such as official search and official copy applications, are operating as usual with many results available instantly. It takes 1 to 2 days if an application needs to be manually handled. Searches of the index map can take 2 to 3 days.

Updates to the register

Over half of the applications to update the register, such as changing a name or removing a mortgage, take 3 weeks to complete, with most completed in 5 weeks. We know that a minority of applications are taking up to 6 weeks to complete.

If you’ve received a request for information (requisition) it will take considerably longer to process, with most completed after 7 weeks and in some instances up to 4 months.

Complex changes and new entries

Over half of complex applications, such as first registrations, creating a new lease or transferring part of a property (transfer of part), are completed in around 6 months. Most are completed in around 9 months but some might take a few weeks longer.

Contact HM Land Registry

You can send us a message using our contact form or access our guides that answer many of the most common questions.

Business e-services customers can:

Phone service

Our phone service is open Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays), 8am to 5pm. We have fewer advisers available due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) measures. Our service is usually quietest between 8am and 9am.

Face-to-face appointments

We have temporarily suspended face-to-face appointments. See Identity verification for information on how to get your identity verified for land registration purposes.

New coronavirus practice guide for conveyancers

Our new Practice guide 80: useful information for conveyancers provides information about changes we’ve made to our practice to facilitate conveyancing and registration before and during the coronavirus outbreak.

It includes information on:

Identity verification

We have introduced temporary changes to make it easier to verify your identity for land registration purposes. See Practice guide 67A: temporary changes to HM Land Registry’s evidence of identity requirements for more information.

Land Charges applications

We have changed our practice to allow most Land Charges applications to be made by email, through attaching PDF copies of application forms and any supporting evidence. You must have a variable Direct Debit account to be able to do this. A new paragraph 6.1.3 has been added to practice guide 63. The change does not extend to those applications that can already be made through the portal or Business Gateway.

Email alerts

Sign up to receive our Landnet newsletter to get the latest updates from Simon Hayes, Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar.

Read Simon Hayes’ previous emails.

Published 14 May 2020
Last updated 6 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated our application processing times for register queries and updates to the register.

  2. We've updated the Updates to the register section to advise that over half of the applications to update the register are taking just under 4 weeks to complete.

  3. We've updated the timescales for register queries, updates to the register, complex changes and new entries.

  4. We've clarified the turnaround times for requesting an application to be expedited.

  5. We've added a statement to advise we do not expect our services to be impacted as a result of the public health guidance announced on 4 January 2021.

  6. We've added timescales for processing applications.

  7. Our phone service is now available from 8am to 5pm.

  8. Added information on how to request an application to be expedited.

  9. Added a link to the new Practice guide 80: useful information for conveyancers.

  10. We've updated the 'Accessing PDF downloads' section to include View My Applications. The service allows you to check the status of your applications and download all relevant documentation.

  11. Transfers of ownership of property, leases, mortgages and other property dealings can be signed and witnessed electronically. We've added a link to 'practice guide 8: execution of deeds' for more information.

  12. We've updated our phone service opening hours (8am to 12 midday and 1:30pm to 3:30pm).

  13. We added information on 'Powers of attorney certified by legal executives', 'Electronically signed deeds', how to 'Lodge an application on behalf of another company' and 'Protecting interest by way of notice'.

  14. Added a link to sign up for email alerts from Simon Hayes, Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar.

  15. Updated 'How conveyancers can request an application to be expedited' and added a new section titled: 'Cancellation dates on expedited applications'.

  16. Conveyancers must provide evidence to show why an application is urgent when requesting an expedite.

  17. Our phone service is operating at a reduced level and with restricted opening hours (8am to 12 midday).

  18. First published.