The slowdown in customer service caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the land registry to stop accepting any new applications relating to property transfers until January 4, in a bid to process accumulated work, it was announced on Friday.
In a statement, the department said it would be processing all pending applications concerning sales, donations, and mortgaging of property received by Friday. New applications will be accepted from January 4 onwards unless they are exceptional cases.
The department said it would process all pending applications by December 31.
District offices will be open to the public to discuss exceptional cases, which could be processed if deemed necessary, the statement said.
It urged the public, but especially banks and other large organisations, to show the necessary understanding.
Work at various government departments has been hampered by absenteeism linked to the pandemic, as staff are either confirmed positive or quarantined because they are close contacts on top of closing for at least 24 hours for disinfection.
During the first 11 months of 2020 the land registry has processed 3,518 transfers of properties, involving 4,139 parcels. Over the same period a total of 7,231 contracts of sale have been deposited at land registry offices.