VAT applied to CON29 council searches – time to reconsider?

Due to recent changes introduced by HMRC, the search industry has been advised that Local Authorities will be required to apply VAT, at its current 20% rate, to CON29 fees from 3 January 2017.

Ipsos MORI Local Land Charges Survey Highlights Personal Search Quality

Interestingly, recent research – ‘Local Land Charges Survey’ conducted by Ipsos MORI (Oct 16) confirms that solicitors and conveyancers perceive the searches from Personal Search Companies to be more accurate (82% rated them as Excellent/Very Good) than searches from Local Authorities (76% rated them as Excellent/Very Good).

This research also highlighted that ease of use and speed of delivery are key drivers when selecting your search provider.

STL’s Regulated Local Authority Search

In light of the VAT changes and the Ipsos MORI research results you may now like to consider the STL Regulated Local Authority Search. This search is fully compliant with the Law Society’s 4 July 2016 changes.

With reference to the ease of use mentioned in the Ipsos MORI research STL have certainly addressed this key driver. In addition, the STL Regulated search also offers many benefits when compared to the Council search:
• Standard format regardless of Local Authority, reduces the time taken to review the search results
• Convenient ‘Summary for Conveyancers’ immediately identifies entries revealed in the search, saving time when reviewing the results
• Unique plain English ‘Information for Buyers’ helps to reduce queries
• Nationwide fixed price regardless of Local Authority, removing the varying disbursements.

In terms of speed of delivery, as highlighted in the research, STL also give an estimated delivery date at the time of order. Should this delivery date change, STL keeps firms fully informed.

Cost of Council Search v Regulated Search

Not only do STL offer a fixed nationwide price regardless of Local Authority, in light of the VAT changes, their Regulated search is now more cost effective than the majority of Local Authorities Council searches.

In summary, STL’s CEO Alan Thorogood states ‘This VAT change, along with the recent results from the Ipsos MORI survey, shows that conveyancers have no barriers to moving to Regulated searches for reason of quality, cost and service’.

So…time to reconsider a Regulated Search instead of a Council Search? Contact STL for details.

This article was submitted to be published by STL as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

Today's Conveyancer