14 October 2020
Trade body suggests close engagement with members to avoid process delays
The Council of Property Search Organisations (CoPSO) has today urged all conveyancers to work closely with their search provider to avoid any unnecessary delays in processing purchase transactions. With lead times to access data at many local authorities increasing by the day, the importance of ordering searches in a very timely fashion cannot be overstated.
CoPSO Chair James Sherwood-Rogers said: ‘The combination of a hyperactive property market, in part fuelled by the SDLT holiday, and the hugely difficult circumstances in which local authorities and our members are having to operate, is leading to ever increasing turnaround times for searches in many parts of the country. Our members know where those are, and active engagement with them can help to manage each transaction according to its location. We fully recognise the extreme pressure which conveyancers are operating under, and our members wish to help in any way that they can.’
CoPSO is engaging constructively with local authorities across England and Wales where there are now over 90 locations (about 30% of all authorities) where search turnaround times exceed 20 days. The combination of an overheated market, Covid-19 related working restrictions and resourcing issues are the main contributing factors. Where resourcing is an issue, CoPSO has appealed to local authority chief executives to allocate additional resource to the local land charges teams to help alleviate the pressure.
James added ‘We are all in this together in these extraordinary times and CoPSO and its members are determined to play a full part in supporting homebuyers and their conveyancers by offering the best possible service in the circumstances.’