Sales Collapse as Property Searches Take 10 Weeks
By |Published On: 13th August 2015|

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Sales Collapse as Property Searches Take 10 Weeks

By |Published On: 13th August 2015|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

Property searches in West Dorset are taking around ten weeks to come through and are causing sales to collapse in some cases.

An online notice asks people not to contact its department to avoid further delays.

It reads: “Due to an unexpected increase in Land Charges requests the team is dealing with an exceptionally high level of enquiries. As a result we are currently processing requests in approximately ten weeks.

Sales Collapse as Property Searches Take 10 Weeks

Sales Collapse as Property Searches Take 10 Weeks

“We realise that you want to know what progress is being made with your enquiry, but we ask that you keep contact to a minimum so we can focus on processing enquiries. Thank you for your understanding.

“Additional resources have been put into place to help address this backlog but it will take some time to reduce the existing volume of enquiries.

“We apologise for the delay and the inevitable inconvenience this will cause. Please be assured that we are seeking to deal with your enquiry as swiftly as possible. We will keep this page updated with progress.”1 

Estate agents and conveyancers have reported that the delays are causing sales to fall through and that delays can be longer than ten weeks.

Search agent Henry Pryor says that a client of his is trying to buy a home in Bridport, West Dorset and has waited 12 weeks already.

Contrastingly, Pryor notes that in Lindfield, Sussex, search time is just five days.

Senior Branch Manager at Palmer Snell in Weymouth, Anthony Goss, says: “The biggest issue we are having is to do with trying to get searches back.

“It used to take two or three weeks, it’s taking about 16 weeks now. This means that where we would normally have a sale and exchange contracts within eight or ten weeks, it’s now taking four months plus.

“It’s horrendous. We’ve had sales falling through, especially when they are in a chain.

“I have had people who have lost buyers for their homes because of how long it’s taking.

“It is frustrating beyond belief for everyone. We can’t believe it is so bad.

“Our searches are taking longer than anywhere in the country.”1 

Nantes Solicitors’ Mike Harvey, adds: “From any other authority, you get it back within three days.

“For West Dorset, it is taking 12 weeks and for Weymouth and Portland they can’t even give us an estimate of how long it will take. It is causing a crisis.

“It holds up chains which go to London, the north of England, all over the country.”1


About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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