Residential Property expert, Chris Dewhurst gives the heads up to HM Land Registry’s new digital service, the Search for local land charges which aims to deliver the public’s requirements for greater speed and certainty in conveyancing transactions.
The Local Authority maintains statutory registers that can affect a property and a buyer’s decision to buy. As we all know, the ‘Local Search’ result is key in revealing any adverse entries noted against the property and ensuring that buyers are not caught out. The sad reality is that some Local Authorities can take up to two months or even longer to return results. This delay can cause great stress in a fast paced selling environment, when the need to exchange contracts can be critical.
The good news is that the Government has now moved the responsibility for these important statutory registers to the control of the Land Registry with a view to search results being returned almost immediately and electronically. Local Authorities will be required in future to file entries online with the Land Registry. This radical move will make the Land Registry a one stop shop for essential information about a property. Searches can be official or personal in nature and the initial cost for the search is likely to be £15.
The new Search for local land charges service, is being rolled out in phases to Local Authorities across the country; dates for participation of Local Authorities in Kent are yet to be announced. For up to seven years, Local Authorities will still provide replies to CON29 enquiries until the data has been completely transferred to the Land Registry.
It is important that your solicitor is aware which Local Authorities are participating in the early part of the scheme and is ready for the new system.
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