Local Land Charges Institute on Land Registry proposed takeover

The Local Land Charges Institute representing Local Land Charge Officers across England and Wales has written to the Minister for Business and Enterprise, to raise concerns about the Land Registry’s proposed takeover.

The organisations letter outlines a strong stance against the proposal saying: “We believe that the proposed takeover of the Local Land Charges function by Land Registry would lead to a more fragmented, more costly and less reliable service that that which already exists and would result in a poorer service for the property-buying public and the businesses that assist them.

“We urge you to reject this proposal.”

They go on to outline their ground for rejecting the proposal on the set of points:

1. the perceived problems with the Local Land Charges function have been overstated;

2. such problems as there may be can be resolved more simply and with less financial outlay than by this takeover;

3. the suggested demand for the takeover has been overstated;

4. Land Registry has failed to demonstrate a clear understanding of the processes and risks involved in the Local Land Charges function;

5. Land Registry is proposing a worse level of service than currently exists;

6. Land Registry has failed to demonstrate how it would actually provide the service; and

7. Land Registry, having proposed a number of unsatisfactory business models over the course of almost three years, is proposing only to take over half the service, providing less information to customers than local authorities currently do, leaving local authorities to undertake the more complex work and providing a fragmented service to customers.

The letter continues: “Land Registry has failed to demonstrate unequivocally its understanding of the service provided and the vital part this plays in the housing market and wider economy.

"This proposal does not demonstrate an improvement or enhancement to the service.

“If you are not 100% satisfied that Land Registry can provide this service more effectively, more accurately and more cheaply than local authorities currently do, then you must reject this proposal.”

What do you think of the Land Registry’s proposed expanded role in this area? Do you share the concerns of the LLCI?

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