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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-land-registry-local-land-charges-programme/local-land-charges-programme
Every local authority in England, with the exception of county councils, is required to hold a local land charges register that records obligations affecting properties within their administrative area. Under the Infrastructure Act 2015 responsibility for the 326 registers will be transferred to HM Land Registry in a phased approach beginning in summer 2018.
This is a historic step forward in the Government’s ambition to make the home-buying process simpler, faster and cheaper. It is also an important part of our Business Strategy to help improve the entire conveyancing process.
Our new digital Local Land Charges service
HM Land Registry is working in partnership with local authorities in England to standardise and migrate local land charges register information to one accessible place.
Anyone can access our new Local Land Charges service through our Search for local land charges service. Business customers can also access it through their portal accounts or Business Gateway. Each search result provides details of entries on the Local Land Charges Register relating to the land or property concerned.
Local authorities will continue to provide replies to CON29 enquiries, such as nearby road schemes or outstanding notices, which may affect a purchaser’s decision whether to proceed. Once a local authority’s local land charges data has been migrated to HM Land Registry, you will no longer be able to get local land charge search results from that local authority.
Using our new service, you will have the option of downloading a personal search for free or an official search for £15. Alternatively, you can use a search provider who will access our Local Land Charges service for you.
Benefits of the Local Land Charges official search
The benefits are:
- guaranteed search results provide the highest level of due diligence
- the full spatial extent of every charge appears on the search result
- standard £15 fee for each search, providing a reduction to the current national average price
- consistent quality of data provides clear and accurate search results
- instant online search result with 24/7 access to the data, reducing delays in receiving searches
- unlimited repeat searches for six months to check for any new charges before completing a transaction
- search history dashboard giving you access to your previous searches at any time
Watch a video about our new Local Land Charges service (1 minute 14 seconds)
Throughout the course of 2018 and 2019, the following local authorities’ local land charges data will transfer to HM Land Registry. This list is subject to change.
|Local authorities||Transfer date|
|Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council||to be announced|
|Blackpool Council||to be announced|
|Carlisle City Council||to be announced|
|City of London Corporation||8 October 2018|
|Council of the Isles of Scilly||to be announced|
|East Lindsey District Council||to be announced|
|Liverpool City Council||3 September 2018|
|London Borough of Harrow||to be announced|
|London Borough of Lambeth||to be announced|
|North West Leicestershire District Council||to be announced|
|Norwich City Council||to be announced|
|Peterborough City Council||to be announced|
|Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council||to be announced|
|St Helens Council||to be announced|
|Stevenage Borough Council||to be announced|
|Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council||to be announced|
|Thanet District Council||to be announced|
|Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council||to be announced|
|Warwick District Council||11 July 2018|
When the transfer of data from an individual local authority to HM Land Registry is completed, local authorities will still be required to apply, vary and cancel charges in the new register. They will also need to provide source documents on request and respond to additional enquiries from customers following HM Land Registry’s issue of a search result.
Phase 1 of the new service will be rolled out over the next few months with up to 26 local authorities’ local land charges registers transferred to HM Land Registry by March 2019. The timing of future phases has not been decided yet and will be subject to decisions by Ministers. Because of the scale and complexity of the service change, as considered in our Regulatory Impact Assessment, this data migration could take up to 7 years.
Local land charges
Local land charges searches are normally required in the property-buying process. Most local land charges are restrictions or prohibitions on the use of the property. The local land charges search will reveal whether a property is subject to a charge if that charge has been registered. The property will be subject to it regardless of whether it is registered or not. Other searches will need to be conducted to determine whether a property has an obligation on it.
Common obligations protected as local land charges
The common obligations protected as local land charges include:
- planning permissions (these form the majority of charges)
- listed buildings
- conservation areas
- tree preservation orders
- improvement and renovation grants
- smoke control zone conditions
- light obstruction notice conditions
Local authorities maintain a local land charges register for their administrative area. The records are held in a range of formats such as paper, microfiche and electronic. Prices also vary considerably and this has led to an inconsistent service for customers depending on their postcode.
A local land charge is created by either local authorities or other bodies with the powers to do so, known collectively as originating authorities.
Local authorities must complete a number of tasks prior to the migration of their local land charges data.
Read the pre-migration guide.
New burdens information
Our new burdens information sets out our approach to implementing the new burdens doctrine for the transfer of local land charges from local authorities to our new digital local land charges register.
As implementation requires secondary legislation, we launched a public consultation on the draft Local Land Charges Rules 2017, which ran until 11 July 2016.
Local Land Charges (PG79)
Read our practice guide 79: local land charges for information on:
- applications to register a local land charge or to vary or cancel the registration of a local land charge
- applications for an official search or personal search of the local land charges register
Local Land Charges fees
The information in our guide: Local Land Charges fees is a summary of the Local Land Charges Fees (England) Rules 2018. The guide also refers to the Local Land Charges Rules 2018.
Our programme partners are:
Contact the programme team: firstname.lastname@example.org.