The migration of local land charges from local authorities to the Land Registry
Hopefully the conveyancing world is now aware that due to the Infrastructure Act 2015 HM Land Registry has been tasked with the migration to it of all 331 local land charges registers from local authorities.
This extraordinary task has obviously been undertaken using a phased approach commencing in 2018 and going forward for the next three years.
The extent of the task is difficult to envisage and fortunately for me I was allowed to visit HM Land Registry Nottingham recently to see some of the work being done. I have to say a big thank you to Jamie Winch from the HM Land Registry delivery team and his colleagues for inviting me and showing me around.
To say I was impressed was an understatement. What impressed me:
- The amount of data being migrated. There are millions of local land charges that are being transferred. Those charges may be recorded on paper, microfiche, or digitally and no matter what the format the data is checked and mapped by a team of Land Registry staff working in two shifts at a variety of locations. Local land Charges are checked and mapped and recorded on the Land Registry system. Having seen some of the team in action I was delighted to see commitment, hard work and of course skill as the tasks involved are not as simple as might first appear.
- The systems and processes used for scanning data enabling the process to go ahead at speed.
- The willingness of HM Land Registry to reach out to partners including local authorities and the legal profession, as well as third parties such as search providers too put into the process and to have access to the new service. This gives me confidence that HM Land Registry is as keen all other parties to speed up and smooth out the conveyancing process.
- The ability of HM Land Registry to purge local land charges registers for errors and duplication and to work with Local Authorities to ensure the migration process which is clearly a daunting prospect for Local Authorities is as efficient and seamless as possible.
I have been aware of the benefits of the migration since its inception, but I now have a greater awareness of the hard work of all involved in this massive task.
I am delivering a series of free webinars along with HM Land Registry on the migration process, the benefits of the programme, and an examination of some general issues concerning due diligence and local land charges that explains the new systems and benefits and I hope you can join me. The next webinar is on the 12th October 2021 at 11am. For further details of this and other events and to register visit iqlegaltraining.com
Ian Quayle is CEO of IQ Legal Training