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Residential Property (Registration)

Volume 15: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1981

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asked the Attorney-General if he has taken steps to reduce the protracted delays in the Land Registry in registering residential property; and whether he will use the financial surplus of the registry to employ more staff and improve procedures so that the length of time taken to register residential property and record changes in land ownership can be reduced.

The cash limit on the Land Registry Vote has recently been raised by approximately £1·45 million to enable the Department to deal with the increase in work. This has enabled improvements to be made in the times being taken to complete applications for registration. The manpower and financial resources permitted for the registry during 1982–83 are currently under consideration. It is hoped that completion times will continue to improve.

asked the Attorney-General what proportion of residential property currently owner occupied is in areas of compulsory registration; and what are the anticipated proportions for 1985 and 1990.

The areas of compulsory registration cover approximately 75 per cent. of the population of England and Wales. No figure is available as to the proportion of residential property which is currently owner-occupied in those areas.Title to property may be registered voluntarily in non-compulsory areas where building estates are being developed and in certain other cases; registration of title is compulsory in those areas when properties have been purchased pursuant to the right-to-buy provisions of the Housing Act 1980.It is the intention that the areas of compulsory registration will continue to be extended, but the rate of extension will depend upon the availabilty of resources.