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What does the new digital land register mean for conveyancing?

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With the first digital mortgage emerging in April and the introduction of HM Land Registry’s new digital Local Land Charges Register. Harrison Drury Solicitor, ­­Hannah Hughes, looks at what affect these changes could have on property owners in England.

Strides are clearly being made within the digital and technological aspects of the Land Registry’s approach to servicing its customers. According to the Land Registry, decentralised Local Land Charge (LCC) searches range from a few pounds to nearly £100, depending on the local authority.

The process is often manual, meaning turnaround time can fluctuate from one business day to more than 40 days. So, it’s is no surprise that LLC searches have been a thorn in the side during both residential and commercial property transactions, meaning completion times have often been at the mercy of this slow, fragmented process.

However, new changes have been announced; the Land Registry are migrating all their LLC data to a central digital register as part of a phased approach. Once complete, anyone requiring LLC searches for property or land will be able to get them directly from HM Land Registry rather than the local council.

There are many benefits to the change, including:

  • A cost of £15 for each search, which is a reduction in the previous national average price and provides a uniformity to fees allowing estimate search fees to be much more accurate;
  • Guaranteed search results, which are clear, consistent and precise;
  • Instant online 24/7 access to the data with unlimited repeat searches for six months.

The Land Registry are hopeful that this new digital register will result in making the purchase of property simpler, cheaper and more efficient. This will be a welcome change to prospective purchasers as buying a house is often the biggest financial investment made in their lifetime.

For more information on the new Local Land Charges Register, please contact ­­­­Hannah Hughes on 01524 548 994 or at Hannah.Hughes@harrison-drury.com


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