Knowledge Centre

Land Registry: error data must not be used to punish firms

Written By - Liam Bolton - October 14,2019

HM Land Registry could share data on title application errors with the Solicitors Regulation Authority – but says the regulator has been told that the information must not be used to punish firms.

Andrew Robertson, head of customer policy and service performance, told the National Property Law Conference last Thursday that the Registry is in the ‘last stages’ of agreeing a memorandum of understanding with the SRA. Requisition data is already shared with the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

Robertson said: ‘We’re being very clear with the regulators that we are not sharing this data as a stick to beat the profession with. It’s about using the information to improve their knowledge about where the capabilities are in the profession. We’re not providing the information so they can intervene in a practice so they can close it down.’

This year Land Registry started publishing requisition figures for the top 500 conveyancers. Robertson said those conveyancers have been receiving ‘customer workbooks’ since 2017. Robertson said it would be unfair to publish data for other firms ‘who have not had the same opportunity’.

Before 2012, Land Registry had a ‘wider rejection’ policy, which Robertson acknowledged did not fix problems regarding the quality of the applications. Robertson said there were no plans to return to that policy, though some colleagues ‘think we should reinstitute wider rejection’.

Asked whether Land Registry would consider publishing requisition data on managing agents and lenders, Robertson said this was not being considered at the moment. He was told by one delegate that ‘it seems like a dual standard – conveyancers are being hung, drawn and quartered over it’.