Warwick District Council in the West Midlands is the first local authority in the UK to transfer all of its Local Land Charge (LLC) data to a new national digital register that is set to significantly speed up house sales.
The Land Registry launched its new digital service at the beginning of March this year and revealed that it would be working initially with 26 local authorities.
The first to complete the transfer, Warwick, will now be joined by Liverpool, followed by St Helen’s in Merseyside later this year.
The register will enable solicitors to complete a ‘local search’ for the initial LLC part of the process on a property in a matter of minutes and for a few pounds. This compares to the some local councils, which can take days and in extreme cases even weeks to complete a search.
Councils will no longer hold LLC data themselves but will be responsible for keeping their LLC information up-to-date on the new register.
“Future updating will be critical to the council’s statutory duty of maintaining the register,” a St Helen’s council spokesperson said.
“It is imperative that staff changes, and service moves are reported to the Land Charges team at the earliest point, as the information these contacts provide is essential to maintain the register.”
The Land Registry initiative is part of its five-year plan to simplify and speed up processes in the land and property market. There are a handful of initiatives under way including its Digital Street project which will see an online version of the registry piloted using a small selection of properties.
The registry says it is planning to have 90% of its title and other data published online by 2020.