The Executive Board of the Land Registry anticipate that they will be taking on the Local Land Charges Searches. They are assuming that the ‘Wider Powers’ contained within the Infrastructure Bill will pass successfully through Parliament. Don’t count your chickens too soon! The Bill faces growing opposition as more members of the public, MPs, and Peers become aware of what is at stake!
Land Registry counting chickens before they hatch.
The Conservatives are committed to their ideology of a small state and it seems to us, that they are using the Government’s digital strategy to achieve their aims. In particular Local Government departments are suffering as a result of cuts, so much so, they are struggling to function or be fit for purpose. This is now being felt by the property market as Local Land Charges are being criticised by Estate Agents for causing sales to fall through and mortgage offers are being timed out by the length of time it now takes for a Local Authority search. Property Industry Eye report in their news that searches are taking 6 – 10 weeks in some areas!
We know that centralising services by digitalisation makes a lot of sense, but at what cost? Who is keeping an eye on getting the balance right? At what stage does the digital strategy begin to work against us?
Here are the reasons we need your support to stop the bill from going through in it’s present form:
- A lot of specialist and experienced staff stand to lose their jobs from Local Land Charges Departments.
- The ‘Wider Powers’, as rightly highlighted by Christian Lister, (Chairman IPSA), in an earlier post, still need greater scrutiny as the proposals do very little to improve the data provision of a local search which is required by mortgage lenders to assess risk on a property or land.
- The ‘Wider Powers’ will give the Land Registry the monopoly over the provision of property related searches. If the Land Registry were to stay in the public sector, that wouldn’t be so bad because so far they have been brilliant at reducing their fees year on year. BUT DON’T COUNT ON IT! We fear the ‘Wider Powers’ will pave the way for the future privatisation of the Land Registry.
Lets keep up the pressure! A really great way of doing that is to sign & share the 38 Degrees petition.