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Land Registry: Wider Powers and Local Land Charges - Law Society response

17 March 2014

The Law Society shares many of the aspirations in Land Registry's consultation on wider powers and local land charges. 

We agree that it would be desirable to reduce the time taken in the conveyancing process and for there to be greater consistency and reduced expense, for the benefit of solicitors and consumers. Indeed, the Law Society's support for the creation of the National Land Information System (NLIS) arose from a desire to try and bring a degree of consistency and uniformity to the market. 

While the Law Society understands the appeal of a standardised format, price and turnaround time for local land charges, there are a number of ways that this could be achieved. Land Registry's proposals, which relate only to the local land charges part of the search process (and do not include CON 29 or local land charges going back further than 15 years) will not necessarily improve the process, particularly in the short to medium term. 

Local land charges searches have improved considerably in recent years. While the current system is not perfect, a single local land charges register run by Land Registry would not be at the top of most solicitors' wish lists for changes to the conveyancing process - more important improvements could be made elsewhere.

Read the Law Society's response below.

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