- proposals on moving Land Registry into private sector announced
- government will retain key safeguards including ownership of the Land Register
- proceeds from sale could be used to pay down debt
Business Secretary Sajid Javid today (24 March 2016) announced the launch of a consultation document setting out the options on moving Land Registry operations into the private sector.
The government is proposing that the Crown will still retain ownership of the Land Register. Government will also continue to offer key protections to customers. This includes fees being set before Parliament and the continuation of the state-backed guarantee when a loss is incurred as a result of a mistake in the register.
The preferred model being proposed is a privatisation of Land Registry consisting of a contract between government and a private operator, with all the core functions transferred out of the public sector, but with key safeguards for Land Registry customers and government being maintained.
The sale of Land Registry will allow government to pay down debt, or enable other investment for the benefit of taxpayers. It is expected that a move into the private sector would also allow Land Registry to become even more efficient and effective as part of its transformation programme.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Anyone who’s bought a flat or a house knows that the Land Registry has an important role to play in property ownership.
By proposing a model where government retains critical functions, including ownership of the Register itself, we are delivering on our promise to ensure the sale of public assets benefits the wider economy and all working people in the longer-term.
Although government has put forward a preferred option, no decision on the future model of Land Registry has been made. The government will ensure that Land Registry customers and the integrity of the register will continue to be protected following the outcome of the consultation.
The consultation will run for 9 weeks and will close on 26 May 2016.
Notes to editors
Read the consultation at Land Registry: moving operations to the private sector
Land Registry plays an essential role in the property market and is responsible for processing the registration of title to land in England and Wales under the Land Registration Act 2002.