Problems in a council department that led to people's house moves getting delayed by up to nine weeks have been solved.

Sutton Council says an issue that meant land searches, a service the council carries out when people buy a home, were taking significantly more than the usual week to 10 days to process has been resolved and now it is working to make sure its systems are better in future.

Councils carry out the searches to make sure there are no planning applications affecting a property that is due to be purchased. In most instances the checks take no more than two weeks.

But, as of mid-March, staff shortages at Sutton Council meant the searches started to take significantly longer.

Estate agents and home buyers claimed the problems were setting moves back by more than two months.

In June the council said it had fixed the problem and was working to get through a backlog and now it claims it has achieved this and is back on schedule.

A spokesman said: "We are back within our target of dealing with land searches within seven-to-10 days.

"Now that we are back on track, we will be reviewing the service to see if we can make it quicker and easier to deal with search requests."