A comprehensive register could speed up conveyancing

HM Land Registry has set out its aim to have all land in England and Wales which is publicly owned land available for housing to be registered by 2030.

With an intention to ease the process of identifying areas suitable for housing development, HMLR’s plans will also help to facilitate the Government reaching its target of 300,000 homes, with the high priority areas to be registered by 2020.

Explaining the benefits of the plans was deputy director for comprehensive registration at HMLR, Maggie Telfer. Writing in a HMLR blog post, she stated that although the prime focus is on the registration of all publicly owned land, setting out objectives on a longer term basis is essential in boosting housing development. An example of this being the registration of all remaining land by 2030.

In order to help make the registration process as streamlined as possible, throughout 2018, local authorities will be contacted by a Public Sector Engagement Team, assisting them in the checking if any land or properties in their remit are yet to be registered.

As well as drawing attention to the general assumption that most homes are registered, Telfer also pointed out the benefits of registration, stating that it will help make the conveyancing process simpler, faster and cheaper.

She said: “Comprehensive registration makes buying and selling homes easier as all the information necessary for conveyancing will be in one place, the Land Register. This will mean it’s easier to check who owns property and there is more transparency about who owns what.

“A comprehensive register will make conveyancing simpler, faster and cheaper as all the information necessary for conveyancing will be in the Land Register which is online and available to everyone to see. If land isn’t registered, the conveyancer has to get the deeds from the client or mortgage lender and examine them, all of which costs time and money.”

She did point out that the process is not always straightforward, stating that:
“There will always be some little bits of land where the owners are difficult to identify, which is why we’re aiming to achieve comprehensive rather than total registration.”

The full blog post can be accessed here.

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