Local Authority Downgrades Summer Search Suspension To Delayed Service

Surrey Heath Council has announced that the summer postponement of all local authority searches has now been downgraded to a delay to service.

The Council claimed that the upgrades to their database software, which provides information on local land charges, building controls and planning issues, would prevent them from being able to accept requests during the six-week migration.

The announcement also claims that as the migration takes place, the local authority will be unable to accept any requests between 1st August 2019 and 17th September 2019.

However, they have discovered that the software will be partially operational and therefore the suspension of service has been revoked.

Those making searches can now expect delays of ten working days whilst the system copes with a reduced service.

The updated advice from Surrey Heath Council, commented:

“Initially we understood that the software we use for Local Land Charges (LLC) would not be available during the migration to a new system, meaning that the service would need to be suspended during this time. However, we have since been advised that the software will be partially operational. Therefore we will continue to deliver LLC work – however turnaround times will be longer than normal as some checks will need to be done manually.

“As a result, the turnaround time during the affected period (from 9 August until mid-September) is likely to be around 10 days, which is slower than our current rate but is still in line with Government guidelines. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

“Once the new system is installed the procedure for using this service will change, we anticipate this is likely to be in mid-September. We will share more details on this as soon as we can via this web page.

“To reassure all residents and local businesses – our planning and building control systems will continue to operate as normal during these changes. All aspects and functions of the planning portal will still be available as usual.

“We are sorry for any confusion this has caused and hope that this information is reassuring for those needing to use this service at this time.”

How important is a continual local search service for the home buying and selling process? How disruptive would a suspension be for local conveyancers?

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