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Graham Farrant visits Birkett Long's Colchester Office

View profile for Emma Coke FALA
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We were fortunate to meet Graham Farrant, Chief Land Registrar, yesterday  to hear his views on the Land Registry and to discuss our experiences of the service. Graham described an organisation that is committed to continuous improvement in the service that it provides to its users, particularly conveyancers, and has a longer-term focus on modernising its processes and improving its efficiency. We were pleased to hear about Graham’s objectives for improving the user experience and some of his broader comments prompted an interesting conversation about the future of conveyancing.

Graham acknowledged that the Land Registry had work to do to improve the time it takes to complete new-title registrations, including transfers of part and first registrations. Whilst everyone would agree that straightforward applications are now completed very efficiently,  the 60- or 70-day wait to complete new-title registrations is unsatisfactory for practitioners and for property-owners. Graham explained that he hoped eventually to bring the waiting time down to around 15 days.

We had the opportunity to discuss some of our own suggestions about how the Land Registry might improve its service. We discussed the pre-approval of plans, which would allow our clients to know before completion whether they needed to incur the expense of a surveyor to prepare a new plan. Many of us felt that the Land Registry’s approach to plans was inconsistent, and that whether a plan were accepted often depended on the case worker. We discussed concerns that requisitions could be inconsistent. Graham commented that the level of requisitions across users as a whole was far too high, and implored conveyancers to play their part in helping to reduce the burden. We also agreed that the Land Registry’s current fee structure was unnecessarily complicated, and Graham confirmed that he was looking to simplify it in the near future.

Overall, it was a useful and stimulating discussion and it demonstrated the Land Registry’s commitment to its users under Graham’s leadership. We look forward to working with him in the future and to benefiting from his planned improvements to the service.

If you need any help or advice with a conveyancing matter, please contact one of our specialists.  I am based at our Colchester office and can be reached on 01206 217629 or emma.coke@birkettlong.co.uk.

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