COVID-19: Impact upon land registration

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COVID-19: Impact upon land registration

Published 1 April 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting upon all businesses and the Land Registry is no exception.

The Land Registry has issued guidance this week which confirms that, whilst many of the e-services will not be affected, find a property and register create/update applications will be significantly disrupted.


All current cancellation dates have been extended until 1 June 2020 thus giving an extended period of time to deal with any requisitions. No warnings of cancellation will be issued and the Land Registry will review their position generally before the extension period ends.


If, for any reason relating to Covid-19, a request is submitted to extend a notice period or allow a further period for making an objection then the Land Registry aims to grant any such request. However, a request will not be granted where:

  • The Land Registration Rules 2003 prescribe a period or a maximum period. The Land Registry may, in some circumstances, use their discretion to consider a late response if the application has not yet been determined.
  • The registrar serves notice of an application to cancel a caution against first registration or a unilateral notice. In such instances the registrar is obliged to cancel the caution or unilateral notice after the prescribed period in the absence of an objection.
  • the period for serving a counter notice to an application for registration of adverse possession by a squatter has expired.

Urgent applications

It is likely that the timescales for the Land Registry to complete applications to change registers (such as the sale of a registered interest) or create new registers (such as the registration of a new lease) will now increase. Given that some recent applications to register a new lease have taken over nine months to be determined it may soon be the case that tenants are waiting over a year for their interests to be registered.

If an application is urgent (such as where it is holding up a transaction) it is possible to ask the Land Registry to expedite it. When making such a request the applicant must provide a reason for the urgency and supporting evidence.

The Land Registry shall continue to review their services and a page has been set up for any COVID-19 related updates here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): impact on our services


Richard Bell

Richard Bell


+44 (0)113 251 4762

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