HMLR issues guidance for land registration fee increases

HMLR issues guidance for land registration fee increases

From 31st January 2022, Scale 1 and Scale 2 land registration fees will increase for the first time since 2009. Ahead of the changes, HM Land Registry (HMLR) have provided guidance to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Applications for first registration and for registration of transfers, leases and mortgages of property submitted on or after 31st January 2022 will be charged under the new 2021 Fee Order. All applications started before 31st January, but submitted on or after this date, will be subject to the new fees.

If an application was submitted before 31st January 2022, subsequently cancelled or rejected and then resubmitted on or after 31st January 2022, it will be subject to the new fees.

To reduce unnecessary delays, HMLR have requested that practitioners familiarise themselves with the new fees.

Digital Registration Service

For those creating and submitting an application using the Digital Registration Service, no action is required. The system will notify of any saved applications that need to be updated and fees will be recalculated. Any applications created on or after 31st January 2022 will automatically get the new fee applied.

Electronic Document Registration Service (e-DRS) and postal applications

For those preparing applications for submission on or after 31st January 2022, new fees should be used to avoid unnecessary delays. AP1’s that have already been created but won’t be submitted until after 30th January 2022 may need to be amended.

Business Gateway Customers  

Updates should be made to any systems used to apply the new fees, to any application submitted on or after 31st January 2022, to avoid unnecessary delays. This includes any applications that have been prepared and saved in advance of the fee change.

The main changes coming into effect on 31 January are:

  1. An increase in Scale 1 and Scale 2 fees. For most the fees will increase by 11%, while some will rise by 21%.

The reduction in fees for electronically lodged register update applications has increased to 55% (rounded to a multiple of £5). There is still a 25% reduction in voluntary first registrations fees (rounded to a multiple of £5).

Fixed fees remain the same and are still reduced by 50% for electronically lodged applications.

  1. a change in fees for obtaining historical copies of the register, to align with the fees for official copies of the register; and
  2. a change in the rounding provisions for large scale voluntary first registration fees assessed under article 6 based on the number of land units affected. For these applications, where the reduced fee is not a multiple of £5 it is now rounded down to the nearest multiple of £5.

Minor changes to fees and exemptions include:

  1. Including a specific reference to the fee for applications for an entry relating to Right to Manage companies under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. This is to make this clearer, as there is no change in the fee.
  2. Change in fees for obtaining historical copies of the register, so they align with the fees for official copies of the register.
  3. A new exemption for requests to note disclaimers of properties made by liquidators, the Treasury Solicitor, and trustees in bankruptcy.

Next steps

The fee increase allows HM Land Registry to move forward with plans to deliver what customers need – more consistency and speed in service delivery – by investing in both operational capacity and accelerating the digitalisation and automation of services.

With this in mind, HMLR is exploring further changes to the Fee Order, including its structure and simplicity. HMLR is currently engaging as widely as we can before any proposals are set out.

Further information

For full details and other changes see the Guidance page on GOV.UK: Increase to HM Land Registry fees.

Remember, the handy Fee Calculator is available, too.

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