Press release

HM Land Registry launches new digital Local Land Charges Register

HM Land Registry takes another step forward in the Government’s ambition to make the home-buying process simpler, faster and cheaper.

Aerial view of the city of Warwick
City of Warwick (Credit: NorthgateWarwick.co.uk)

Today, 11 July 2018, HM Land Registry launches its new digital Local Land Charges (LLC) Register. Warwick District Council’s data will be the first to be available. Anyone requiring local land charge searches in the local authority area of Warwick from today onwards will need to get them from HM Land Registry rather than going to the council.

This marks another step in HM Land Registry’s transformation to fulfil its ambition to be the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data. The creation of a new digital LLC Register follows the launch of the first digital mortgage in April. Both mark milestones in using digital technology and data innovatively to provide quicker and simpler services for customers.

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.

Warwick District Council’s Chief Executive Chris Elliott commented:

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.

HM Land Registry is working in partnership with up to 26 local authorities in England this year to migrate their LLC data to a central, digital register in a phased approach. Once the data is migrated, anyone will be able to get instant online search results via GOV.UK: Search for Local Land Charges.

HM Land Registry’s business customers can use their existing portal and Business Gateway channels.

HM Land Registry will keep customers informed when each local authority’s LLC records are migrated to the new digital register.

For an overview of the new service, watch our short video.

Creating a national Local Land Charges Register

For more information, read about the Local Land Charges programme.

Notes to editors

  1. Most local land charges are restrictions or obligations on a piece of land or property such as listed status, tree preservation orders or notice of a conservation area. A search of these is normally required in the process of buying a home and is essential to mortgage lenders’ understanding of the risks to their loans. 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. Prices vary considerably, ranging from £3 to £76, and in some areas it can take up to 30 days to deliver the search results. This has led to an inconsistent service for customers depending on their postcode. HM Land Registry’s new digital service will remove those inconsistencies, providing a standardised, digital result.
  2. Common obligations protected as local land charges include: planning permissions, listed buildings, conservation areas, tree preservation orders, improvement and renovation grants, smoke control zones and light obstruction notices.
  3. Read about what the service offers in an official search (£15) and a personal search (free).
  4. Customers will need to continue to submit CON29 enquiries to local authorities. CON 29 enquiries relate to matters such as nearby road schemes, which may affect a property purchaser’s decision whether to proceed.
  5. Over the course of 2018, the following local authorities’ local land charges data will transfer to HM Land Registry: Blackpool Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, City of London Corporation, Liverpool City Council, London Borough of Lambeth, Norwich City Council, Peterborough City Council, and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.
  6. According to HM Land Registry data assessments, there are approximately 25 million LLC records held across England.
  7. The Infrastructure Act 2015 makes provision for the transfer of responsibility for Local Land Charge registers from 326 English local authorities to HM Land Registry.
  8. HM Land Registry safeguards land and property ownership worth in excess of £4 trillion, including around £1 trillion of mortgages. The Land Register contains more than 25 million titles showing evidence of ownership for more than 85% of the land mass of England and Wales
  9. HM Land Registry’s mission is to guarantee and protect property rights in England and Wales. HM Land Registry is a government department created in 1862. It operates as an executive agency and a trading fund and its running costs are covered by the fees paid by the users of its services. Its ambition is to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data.
  10. For further information about HM Land Registry visit www.gov.uk/land-registry.
  11. Follow us on: Twitter @HMLandRegistry, our blog, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Published 11 July 2018