This week, HM Land Registry took another step towards making the home-buying process simpler, faster and cheaper. Launching a new digital Local Land Charges (LLC) Register, the development highlights the government’s ambition to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data.
For now, Warwick District Council’s data will be the first to be available via the new digital LLC. This means that anyone who requires local land charge searches in the local authority will now get them from HM Land Registry rather than going to the council.
Currently, each local authority maintains an LLC register for its administrative area, and the records are held in a variety of formats such as paper, electronic and digital. As a result, in some areas it can take up to 30 days to deliver the search results and prices can vary considerably.
HM Land Registry is working in partnership with up to 26 local authorities across England, helping them to migrate their data to the central, digital register and deliver a standardised result. Once the data is migrated, anyone will be able to get instant online LLC search results.
Chief Executive and Chief Land Registrar Graham Farrant said:
“Buying a house is the biggest financial investment of people’s lives. By centralising and digitising the local land charges information of local authorities in England we are helping to improve conveyancing. Search results from the new register will be instantly available in a standard, easy-to-read format. This is another significant step forward in the Government’s ambition to make the home-buying process simpler, faster and cheaper.
“Warwick District Council is leading the way by being the first local authority to migrate their local land charges data to our new register. I look forward to more local authorities joining the central register during the year.”
In April this year, the first digital mortgage deed was entered into the Land Register as part of a new ‘sign your mortgage deed’ service. This facility is designed to enable a future where witnesses no longer need to watch as buyers apply signatures to paper mortgage deeds. Ultimately, it is hoped that by transforming the conveyancing market through quicker, simpler and secure digital services and technology, HM Land Registry will streamline and speed up the home buying process for homeowners, lenders and conveyancers.
Commenting on the latest development, Warwick District Council’s Chief Executive Chris Elliott said:
“As a forward-looking council aiming to provide the best possible service to all of our customers, we very much welcome any measures which will speed up the process of buying a home. Opening up our data to HM Land Registry will be a huge benefit not only to those wishing to purchase a home or land in our district, but also to our busy planning team.”