Land Registry announces Local Land Charge Searches prototype details

Land Registry announces Local Land Charge Searches prototype details

The Land Registry has announced which local authorities will take place in a prototype to see if local charge registers can be consolidated into a digitised central register.

The local authorities are: Sefton, Liverpool, Denbighshire, Newark and Sherwood, Swindon, Havant and Watford.

The prototype is due to end by December 2013 and will run in parallel to the current service.

If successful and the concept is approved, legislation will be required to enact the change.

The prototype will also develop a solution using open standards for local authorities to publish Con 29 information and, in conjunction with the Coal Authority, Land Registry will explore the mechanisms to supply Coal Authority (CON29 M) results alongside Local Land Charge and CON29R search results.

Malcolm Dawson OBE, Chief Land Registrar and Chief Executive said the prototype was aimed at improving the efficiency of a public service in order to improve customer service.

If the prototype is successful the Land Registry will be able to provide local land charge searches at a standardised price, format and turnaround time.

Jonathan Smithers, Chair of the Law Society Conveyancing and Land Law Committee, said: "Digitising local land charge information could be the start of something that is good news for everyone, from home buyers to mortgage lenders and conveyancers, as it could make the collection of information in the conveyancing process more straightforward.

"The digitisation could result in standardised fees, response times and general service levels. Consumers could be given more certain information about conveyancing costs; currently the cost of a local authority search depends on the location of the property.

"It could also make the information that home buyers and their mortgage lenders need more readily available and useable."

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