The regulator for the Search Code of Practice has stated its concern at the poor service provided by some local authorities, which is causing delays to property transaction.
The PCCB claims that delays in the conveyancing process are the second greatest reason for transaction failure, and poor performance by some local authorities is contributing to delays.
The PCCB has acknowledged that the majority of local authorities provide a good service to both regulated personal search companies and to the lawyers they serve directly. However, the PCCB is worried about the growing number that are performing ‘woefully’.
Maud Rousseau, group marketing and communications director at SearchFlow, comments: “The wide variation in service of delivering and allowing access to the LLC1 and CON29 by local authorities is unacceptable.
“The time taken to access the searches not only varies geographically but whether it is provided directly by the council or required by a regulated personal search company. A delay in transactions is one of the top reasons for property transactions to fail.
“It is inexcusable that the speed of service from local authorities is at the mercy of postcode lottery. We would like to see an analysis of the fastest and slowest performing local authorities which will helpfully highlight those that are carrying out best practice, and allow the industry to evaluate why the poorer performing local authorities take so much longer.”