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A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about the two day Land registry strike, in opposition to plans to make major changes to the organisation.

It seems as though the strike and other efforts have had a minor impact. It has been acknowledged that most property buyers and lenders need information going back more than fifteen years. As a result, the original proposal to limit the period covered by the LLC as part of an official search to fifteen years has been removed. However, we wait to see what any new cut off period might be put forward.

In addition, the plan to simplify the definition of an LLC has been dropped. That job will now probably be left to the Law Society, the conveyancing industry and/or the Law Commission.

Ed Lester, Chief Land Registrar and Chief Executive, said:

The proposals will provide a one stop shop digital LLC search service, which will improve and standardise the service through faster turnaround times. This is consistent with Government's digital by default agenda and will ease the process of buying property.

One of the problems is that although the Land Registry might become a one stop shop for the LLC search service, it won't become a one stop shop for the complete Local Search because a Local Search comes in two parts, the LLC part and the CON29.

If these proposals materialise, the buyer's conveyancer will need to carry out two tasks when requesting a Local Search rather than one. Surely, this will thereby create the opportunity for greater cost, greater delay and greater error.

This proposal, along with others, seems no more than a way of fattening up the Land Registry for privatisation.

A letter in the Daily Mail this week said:

Chief Land Registrar Ed Lester (appointed with no experience of Land Registration) has been hand-picked to deliver all the changes before the next election. No doubt his previous experience with Student loans and NHS Direct will stand him in good stead.

These days there are very few complaints about the speed of obtaining Local Searches be they official or personal ones. The Land Charge Departments should be told to get their houses in order re: standardisation of times and costs. What's more, the Land Registry should tackle something much more worthwhile, like the obtaining of management company information from the freeholders of leasehold properties.

I would be very interested to hear if estate agents agree with me on this.

*Rob Hailstone is founder of the Bold Legal Group



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    Thank you Nicholas. That is interesting, but in fairness to me it was published ten days after I wrote my article. Nevertheless, I try to keep up to date with events and had not yet picked this up.

    I have bowed (as low as my old back will allow) to your greater knowledge as promised.

    The Land Registry proposition is beginning to make more sense now that it is dropping the 15 year limit on some information and the possible provision of the CON29 part. However, I remain sceptical but open minded.

    It is likely that the Local Land Charges Team at the Land Registry will include the Bold Legal Group as one of the key stakeholders they will work with. If they do, we will be constructive with our comments.

    • 05 July 2014 17:43 PM
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    Link detailed below: -


    • 04 July 2014 10:40 AM
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    Nicholas, I have not seen anything publicly to say you will be able to obtain a CON29 via the LR. If that is correct please point me/us in the direction of that information and I will gladly bow to your greater knowledge on this subject.

    Nothing wrong with personal searches from good suppliers (and many lenders accept them). I am sure a number of search companies could give you some interesting stats on that.

    • 03 July 2014 19:39 PM
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    Totally wrong information.

    The Land Registry will be providing the LLC1 results but you can apply for the CON29R and CON29O via their Portal at the same time within the same application. The Land Registry will liaise with the Local Authority directly regarding this on the Conveyancers behalf.

    I also understand private search companies will be an option if the Conveyancer wishes to use same - however I don't understand why anyone would use a Personal Search!

    • 03 July 2014 11:02 AM
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    As usual Rob is about right. The capturing of the Land Charges service from Local Authorities was part of the "fattening up" in preparation for sale of Land Registry. Now that Vince has dropped that idea as being too much of a pain in the arm what is the point of the Land Charges capture
    These proposals should also be dropped now to save hundreds of small firms and thousands of local land charges jobs.

    • 02 July 2014 08:19 AM
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