Working together to reduce application enquiries

Laptop keyboard with file marked 'Evidence required' lying across it

We know it can sometimes be difficult for customers to get third-party information before lodging applications with us. Customers have told us that information, such as discharges and certificates or consents to comply with restrictions, is often obtained shortly after applications are lodged.

Because we want to make working with us as simple as possible, from 4 February 2019 we will begin a 3-month trial. This will delay sending application enquiries (requisitions) for three weeks for straightforward register update applications, such as registration of a mortgage or a remortgage when:

  • the only outstanding point is a missing discharge of whole and we are not able to apply our early completion policy
  • there are missing certificates or consents needed to comply with restrictions in the register

We will also delay sending an application enquiry when both of the above – a discharge and certificate or consent are missing. Other applications will be subject to our current policy and could generate an application enquiry within the trial period, which may create inconsistency.

We already delay sending application enquiries for a missing discharge for two weeks, but our data shows many discharges are received shortly after this period. Similarly, more than 30% of certificates or consents are received within three weeks.

We expect the trial to reduce the cost and time burden of dealing with these types of requests for both our customers and ourselves. But if it is to succeed customers must send us the missing evidence as soon as it is received, as delays increase processing times. By working together, we can reduce common application errors, such as misspelt or missing names and undated or unexecuted deeds.

A key element of the strategy is improving our own consistency and last summer our caseworkers attended training sessions to reinforce best practice on how application enquiries should be raised. As a result, application enquiries sent out using a non-standard format have been considerably reduced. This is enabling us to share more meaningful data in the customer workbooks, which contain application enquiry statistics.

Apart from highlighting potential areas of improvement through the customer workbooks, we are also adding to the number of webinar topics we deliver, based on customer feedback. Since this free training was introduced in October 2018, nearly 7,000 people have registered to attend one or more of the four topics available. More than 90% of attendees said they strongly agreed or agreed that the webinar(s) were useful.

Webinar topics:

We will continue to work with our customers to help them to get things right first time. Collectively, we can achieve even greater efficiencies and make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper for everyone.

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