Search Changes at the Local Level
Local Authority Searches or Local Land Charges, call them what you like, they’re essential to any purchaser. Until now, they’ve been taking an inordinate amount of time and have held up many a house purchase.
Why are they officially called local land charges? Simply because they are restrictions or obligations on a piece of land such as planning permissions, listed buildings. Conservation areas and tree preservation orders.
Each local authority maintains a register of charges and many are still in paper format. Searches can take up to 30 days and come in just shy of £100.
The cavalry have arrived. MH Land Registry launched last month its digital Local Land Charges Register (LLC) with one local authority and expects up to 26 other local authorities to follow suit.
Unfortunately Cheltenham local authority hasn’t been ear marked, so I’m going to spend an afternoon at their offices shortly to carry out my own search for the conveyancing of a terrace house I’m currently buying.
It’ll take time for all the local authorities – there are 326 of them – to migrate their data, but it won’t be long until this time wasting search is done instantly online.