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Pioneering digital search service to be launched by Land Registry

A new digital search service is being launched next month by HM Land Registry, marking the latest phase in its attempt to speed up and simplify the buying process for agents and the public alike.

From July 11 anyone requiring local land charge searches for property or land in the local authority area of Warwick district council will be able to get them directly from HM Land Registry - the first authority to have this facility.

The Registry says it is also working with up to 26 other local authorities in England over 2018 and 2019 to migrate their LLC data to a central, digital register as part of a phased migration approach. 


Once the data is migrated, anyone will be able to get instant online search results via GOV.UK and the other HM Land Registry channels.

The Registry searches will cost £15 for each search - providing a reduction to the current national average price - and will provide what the organisation describes as “guaranteed search results” including the exact area affected by the charge. 

The service will allow online access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thus reducing delays in receiving searches, and users will be allowed unlimited repeat searches for six months to check for any new charges before completing a transaction.

The next councils likely to go live with this service include Blackpool, Blackburn, Darwen, City of London, Liverpool, Lambeth, Norwich, Peterborough and the Isles of Scilly.

This Registry says 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.”

Poll: Council searches until now have been far too slow


  • Peter Ambrose

    It's important to point out that the searches Land Registry are providing are only half the story. Whilst we obviously welcome technology advance, the LLC1 by itself is sadly not terribly useful.
    This is because we always have to request enquiries as well and these are not available to Land Registry at this time.
    As we say - first step but not exactly the revolution that everyone is looking for ... Yet ...

  • icon

    If I were in any of the test counties, I would still do a full Council search if that remains available. Doing the search in two parts, half with the Land Registry and the remaining half still with the Council - not good.

    Aside from extra work, I would not have my clients being test cases. I'd leave that to our competitors.

    In good time, when both parts are online, and at the Land Registry - superb, as that is a brilliant idea - but half a search there, and still half with the Council. Not a bright idea.

  • icon

    A somewhat confusing message. A search is comprised of an LLC1 and Con29. Both of these are required so there would still be a time delay obtaining the Con29. Information provided on the Con29 is very relevant. For example - an enforcement notice that has been issued but is not effective yet would be shown on the Con29. It would not at that point go onto the Register. So in reality there will be no difference in total time taken or price (aside from paying a little less for the LLC1 possibly although not with my authority as we already charge £15)
    As a Local Land Charges Officer I can confirm that yes we would still continue to offer a full search service to save the conveyance going to two separate locations to process a full search. We also have a fast turnaround of between 1-3 working days at the very most generally.


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