HM Land Registry in Conversation

National Conveyancing Week 2024

By Dean Carruthers, Operations Director

This National Conveyancing Week Dean Carruthers, Operations Director, delves into HM Land Registry in England and Wales.

What is HM Land Registry?

The primary purpose of HM Land Registry is to register the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. When you buy or sell property, HM Land Registry updates the property register to reflect the new owner.

What part does PLS play in the process?

PLS play a crucial role in the process of property transactions and registrations with HM Land Registry. Our teams carry out investigations and searches, draft contracts, and handle transfers of funds. Once the sale of a house is complete our Post Completions Team connects to HM Land Registry via our digital integration to ensure the property’s title is updated with the new owner’s details.

Our digital semi-automated HM Land Registration service makes the process as smooth as possible for our customers.

What changes have you seen over the years?

The stamp duty deadline changed in 2021 after Covid and the property market went wild. Everyone buying and selling property at that time wanted to get their transaction over the line before the end of the deadline to benefit from the stamp duty holiday put in place by the Government.

This caused a huge backlog of registrations being submitted to HM Land Registry. However despite the exceptionally busy period, looking at the data, the amount of applications PLS have submitted to HM Land Registry has increased steadily since that period to meet the challenge that the market created.   

What type of property transactions use land registry?

If you are buying or selling a property, remortgaging a property, inherit a property or receive it as a gift, you need to register the transfer of ownership.

HM Land Registry deals with all types of properties including new build. Interestingly, the Land Registry’s own statistics for new build applications show PLS, of all Solicitors in the whole of England and Wales, has submitted the most new build property applications in every quarter since July 2022… you could say we are experts in that area!