Questions with Responses in relation to Covid-19 - Land Registers Emergency Note to Practitioners 30 March 2020 (as updated 6 April 2020, 10 April 2020, 24 April 2020, 28 April 2020, 21 May 2020 & 18 September 2020)

Some queries relating to Land Registers Emergency Note to Practitioners 30 March 2020 (as updated 6 April 2020, 10 April 2020, 24 April 2020, 28 April 2020, 21 May 2020 & 18 September 2020 are answered below.

1. Are Land Registers now open to accept all applications?

Yes. Solicitors have been able to lodge applications since 11 May for the 7 key services as set out in the Emergency Note to Practitioners dated 28 April 2020.

Normal services for all of the other Land Registers applications resumed on 8 June 2020 as set out in the Emergency Note to Practitioners dated 21 May 2020.

This has been achieved by a combination of Land Registry staff working in the Lanyon Plaza Building and by the successful implementation of a remote working solution.

2. Am I able to hand-deliver my applications?

Yes. From 1 October 2020, the post-box located at reception within the Lanyon Plaza building will be made available again for hand delivery of applications. However, we would encourage solicitors to lodge applications by post or DX where possible to reduce contact.

3. If I have an enquiry am I able to attend the Customer Information Centres?

No. To curb the spread of coronavirus and support social distancing, the Customer Information Centres will remain closed at this time to members of the public and solicitors. Customer Information Centres became available for use by law searchers on 1 July 2020. Law searchers may continue to use the Customer Information Services at this time.

4. How can I make an enquiry and what are the contact details for the Land Registers teams?

Enquiries by email

Type of query Contact email
e-registration, Landweb, Landweb-direct, passwords, topping up suspense account enquiries.landregistration@finance-ni.gov.uk
Mapping and ongoing or completed applications landregistration@lpsni.gov.uk
Urgent query CustomerInformation.LandRegistration@finance-ni.gov.uk
Unusual / complex land registration matters Solicitor.Enquiries@finance-ni.gov.uk

Enquiries by telephone

Land Registration helpline: 0300 200 7803

The helpline is open 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Thursday & 9.00 am to 4.00 pm on Friday

5. If an application is generated using e-registration, will the application be abandoned by Land Registry if there is failure to lodge the paper application within the required 21 day period?

Yes. From 1 October 2020, a paper application must be lodged within 21 days of the submission of the e-registration application otherwise the application will be abandoned. We would emphasise that in any case the lodgement of applications through the e-registration portal does not provide priority and will not show as a pending dealing on the folio until the paper application is accepted in the Registry.

6. Do I need to lodge my application for first registration within 3 months after completion of the unregistered conveyancing transaction?

Yes. Extensions of time will no longer be granted for compulsory first registration applications unless provided at the discretion of the Registrar.

7. Will my application be abandoned if I do not respond to a Solicitors Enquiry letter issued by a caseworker?

From 1 October 2020 caseworkers will send a 25 working day reminder in cases awaiting replies from solicitors. The procedure for abandonment of applications will recommence in accordance the arrangements set out in our 'Note to Practitioners 2/2019 - Abandonment' which is linked on the page below.

8. Can I lodge a priority search using e-registration or by making a paper application?

Yes. Normal services have resumed, however we recommend that solicitors lodge electronic priority searches where possible.

9. When submitting an application, can I pay the fee required by way of cheque only or is there an alternative method of payment available?

At present, payment for fees can only be made by way of cheque.

Solicitors should ensure that cheques are duly signed, are for the correct amount and that all applications lodged are in order. If not, applications will be returned.

10. Am I able top-up my suspense account?

From 11 May 2020 the option to top up suspense accounts by bank transfer or by cheque can be utilised again as set out in the Emergency Note to Practitioners dated 28 April 2020. Due to the success of the pilot scheme we hope to be in a position to roll out a function to top up suspense accounts through the use of card payments within our new enhanced LandWeb Direct system. If you would like to avail of the new facility please email Solicitor.Enquiries@finance-ni.gov.uk

11. The LandWeb Direct system states that I am logged on to my account but I am unable to use it. What can I do?

Please email enquiries.landregistration@finance-ni.gov.uk. We will refer the issue to our IT Department and update you once the problem has been resolved.

12. Where can I find the Land Registers Emergency Notes to Practitioners dated 30 March 2020 with Revisions dated 6 April 2020, 10 April 2020, 24 April 2020, 28 April 2020, 21 May 2020 and 18 September 2020?

All our Notes to Practitioners and Practice Directions are published on this website.

In addition Land Registers issue mail shots in relation to Land Registers’ updates, Notes to Practitioners and Practice Directions to all NI practitioners at the email address for each practice published on the Law Society website. If you would like to amend your email address or add an additional contact address, please email Solicitor.Enquiries@finance-ni.gov.uk.

13. I have a question which has not been answered by the information set out above. How should I resolve this?

If you have an unresolved query, you should email it to the following mailbox: Solicitor.Enquiries@finance-ni.gov.uk.

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