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Working together to produce a user-friendly Local Land Charges Register

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Row of terraced houses with each painted a different colour.
Jon Chica/

When did we first become involved with HM Land Registry’s new digital Local Land Charges Register? Wow…I can’t really remember but it was probably a good few years ago. We were aware of it from its early conception and have attended all the industry stakeholder groups that HM Land Registry has run right from the start.

At tmgroup we provide an automated online property search service. This aims to streamline the homebuying and selling process by minimising disruption and allowing sellers and buyers to share information in a transparent and secure environment. So of course we’ve always been at the forefront of helping HM Land Registry in the development of property searches as we both have the same objective of speeding up conveyancing and providing a smoother customer journey for homebuyers.

We specialise in business-to-business services and have been closely involved in making sure the new Local Land Charges Register meets the needs of business customers. I would like to think our input made sure HM Land Registry delivered the same service via Business Gateway (their automated business-to-business channel) as is available through the portal for conveyancers and solicitors.

Develop, test and deploy

We worked with HM Land Registry to help develop, test and successfully deploy the official search refresh option for their customers using Business Gateway. This combines the power of the quick initial search with the ability to expose any data changes as the transaction nears exchange and completion – which could be up to 12 weeks.

We are proud to state that, so far, we have been the first to order an official local land charges search via Business Gateway in all the migrated local authorities. We facilitate large volumes of transactions daily and our customers have already noticed the standardisation in price and, of course, the near immediate turnaround time of the new register.

We are currently working with HM Land Registry on a system to compare data so we can issue a “changes only” result for the Business Gateway refresh service. With immediate upfront data and unlimited refreshes for six months, conveyancers can identify potential problems much earlier. This should, we hope, lead to reduced transaction times and eventually a reduction in fall-through rates.

I’m looking forward to HM Land Registry’s continued collaboration with customers such as ourselves in order to make sure the service is as user-friendly as possible.

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