Homeowners risk higher mortgage rates amid government delays

Zara Banday, a partner at law firm Slater Heelis, said delays in land registry paperwork could create “endless problems and fraud risks” for landlords, developers and buyers.

She said: “Buyers could risk falling victim to rogue carriers or sellers pretending to change details pending registration to force a new sale.”

Glenn Stride, 80, has been waiting for his land registry papers for over a year.

He read about a house in Luton being sold in 2021 without the owner’s knowledge and found out that his property was unregistered.

Mr Stride, who is retired and lives in Ickleford, Hertfordshire, is concerned about being targeted by fraudsters as he awaits proof that he owns his house.

He said: “I am absolutely disgusted. I paid about £1,500 in January 2022 for solicitor and land registry fees. It’s still not resolved.

His lawyer told him it could take up to three years for his application to be processed.

A spokesman for the Land Registry said: “A very small proportion of our most complex cases (around 1 pc) currently take more than 12 months.

“Of the 380,000 requests we receive each month to update the registry, more than a quarter are completed within a day and two-thirds within a month.

“All urgent requests, including those necessary to complete real estate transactions, can be expedited free of charge upon request and will usually be completed within 10 days. We now process more than 1,000 of these every day.”

Kadaster said the hybrid way of working is in line with the rest of the civil service and has had no impact on productivity.