Land Registry digital home sales scheme stalls as councils are slow on take-up

Only around one in seven local councils have signed up to the land charges register four years after it was set up and despite cash incentives.

Land Registry Houses image

A Land Registry programme to boost property sales has signed up less than 14% of council land charge schemes more than four years after it launched.

The small number of participants is despite a £26 million fund to incentivise local authorities to join announced last year.

Councils are being encouraged to migrate and digitise their Local Land Charges (LLC) register data to a central national database with a target for completion set for 2025.

They will no longer hold LLC data themselves, but will be responsible for keeping their LLC information up-to-date on the new register.

The programme, which started in March 2018, is designed to 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 present system where some local councils take days, and in some cases even weeks, to complete a search.


At present, 45 local authorities are listed on the government’s website as have signed up to the scheme, including five joining this month. This total is out of 331 schemes that are eligible.

In April, Land Registry heralded “a monumental week” when five local authorities signed up to the register, including the first in Wales.


A Land Registry spokesperson told The Neg: “Our ambition is to migrate all local authority local land charges data to the national register by 2025. 41 local authorities are already live on the Local Land Charges Register, with plans for over 20 more to join this year.

“We have informed all local authorities of our delivery plan which targets regional clusters so that neighbouring authorities can support each other to migrate to the new register and maximise local economic benefits. At the moment over 150 local authorities are actively working with us or preparing their data,” he said.

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