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Wandsworth Council joins the Local Land Charges Register to support property buyers

The recent announcement by Wandsworth Council to support its residents through the cost-of-living crisis now includes property buyers.

Today (15 November 2022), the council transferred its local land charges (LLC) service to the national LLC Register, giving citizens and businesses instant access to the information.

The LLC search is an important part of the conveyancing process, revealing restrictions and prohibitions affecting land and property. Common charges include planning permissions, listed building status and tree preservation orders.

London Borough of Wandsworth Council Leader Simon Hogg said:

For the first time property buyers in the Wandsworth area will have instant access to LLC information free of charge. Or they can opt to pay £15 for an official guaranteed search.

The council is absolutely committed to making sure it does everything possible to help people through this crisis. This includes helping property buyers to get the information they need quickly and simply, so their transactions are not compromised.

Property buyers are not the only beneficiaries of a modernised LLC service, local authorities also report increased efficiencies. The transformation of paper, microfiche and electronic charges into digital records provides greater data transparency. Council teams can access the information easily, reducing interdepartmental questions, and increasing speed of service.

Continued monitoring and analysis of the register’s data has also identified opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce potential compensation risks. Recent analysis identified a lapse between a council’s finance and housing department teams, resulting in the delayed registration of housing grant charges. The council had awarded hundreds of grants to local families. A sample test of 10 unregistered charges revealed the council risked losing more than £500,000, because a grant term could not be enforced.

HM Land Registry is working with local authorities to ensure the register continues to deliver service levels that customers expect and deserve. To celebrates local authorities who have outstanding management of the register and communicate well with us, we have launched a new award supported by Land Data.

The Best Performing Migrated Local Authority award is for local authorities who have transferred their data to the LLC Register. Judges from NLIS Hub and Land Data will analyse live register data from 1 December 2022 to 1 February 2023, to rank the authorities. Four performance indicators will be used to judge the most outstanding authority. These indicators include the time taken to register new charges, completeness of entries, accuracy of entries and the time taken to correct errors.

We are delighted that an increase in the speed of migrations has resulted in more local authorities joining the register, including Wandsworth Council, which is one of the largest boroughs in London. By 2025, we aim to make all LLC searches in England and Wales accessible online, enabling property buyers, conveyancers, developers, policymakers and innovators to access the information they need instantly.


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