Two years after announcing that it wanted to open up its data to give clients a 'real picture' of how well their conveyancer is performing, HM Land Registry has published application error figures for the top 500 conveyancers.

Requisition figures, from April to December 2018, have been published for the Registry's top 500 customers. Requisitions are requests for further information raised for applications that do not contain all the necessary evidence or information, or have discrepancies or anomalies in the documents.

The Law Society says cutting the number of requistion requests following a purchase is likely to benefit parties in the conveyancing process. However, a spokesperson said: 'Whilst we should seek to drive down the number of errors, we must also recognise that delays can be caused by mistakes either from HM Land Registry, or because there is information awaited from third parties such as lenders or managing agents.'

The data includes the name of the customer, number of applications (first registration, transfers of part, discretionary lease, register update) lodged, number of applications completed by the Registry, and number of requests for information in each category.

The Registry points out in some cases, it is not the conveyancer's fault if a request is made. For instance, the Registry is exercising its power to ask for more information under rule 17 of the Land Registration Rules 2013, or the Registry requested information in error. 

Issues also arise from 'errors and oversights' by conveyancers and cases where third parties have not provided evidence 'in a timely fashion'. Examples include no evidence of consents by third parties needed for registrations to proceed, no evidence of mortgages being paid off, name discrepancies, and documents not being signed or witnessed properly.

The Registry says, proportionally, more information requests are raised for register creation applications than update applications because they are more complex. 'So conveyancers whose business involves a greater proportion of work that results in new titles may receive proportionately more requests for information than a firm with a different profile of work,' it says.

The Registry outlined its plans to open up its data in its 2017-2022 business strategy. In a December 2017 blog, the Registry's head of customer policy, Andrew Robertson, said the requisitions were holding back its aim to make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper.