A press release from the HM Land Registry was made available last week, announcing the launch of its new digital Local Land Charges (LLC) Register.
The aim of this register is to make purchasing a home simpler, faster and cheaper, by allowing those who require local land charge searches to access them from HM Land Registry, instead of having to go to their local council.
Warwick District Council’s data is the first to be made available through the register.
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.”
Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director of Search Acumen,the property and technology data expert, has commented on this launch: “Search Acumen is excited to get down to work and begin to utilise HM Land Registry’s (HMLR) newly opened, central digital Local Land Charges (LLC) register.
“It is early days, but we think the ability to immediately execute LLC searches will completely transform UK property transactions.
“According to HMLR, decentralised LLC searches ranged from a few pounds to nearly £100, depending on the local authority. And, because the process is often manual, turnaround time can fluctuate from one business day to more than 40 days.
“With around 979,000 transactions registered over the last four quarters across England and Wales, that’s anywhere between 979,000 working days of waiting time at best, or more than 39 million at worst.
“It’s therefore no surprise that LLC searches have too often been the fly in the ointment for both residential and commercial property transactions. Property professionals have been at the mercy of a fragmented process that can result in a sub-optimal service for their clients. The launch of the central digital register today is a big step towards getting as close to the best-case scenario as possible, and even going one better through digital technology.
“Improved data access, standardised fees and faster turnaround times mean solicitors and conveyancers will save millions of days a year in unnecessary waiting times – and property buyers will save millions of pounds in unnecessary costs.
“We are strong proponents of the digitisation and the centralisation of the country’s property big data. Being able to offer a ubiquitous and boundless resource for conveyancers and property lawyers will allow for the legal aspects of building, buying and selling property to become a seamless process from end to end.”