Just over one year on from the launch of the Local Land Charges (LLC) Register, we wanted our annual conference at Villa Park, Birmingham to focus on the lessons learned during that time, the progress we’ve made and next steps.
Lessons learned and challenges faced
Taking on the task of digitising around 23 million local land charges from the 316 English local authorities was always going to be challenging. No-one has attempted a similar digital project before so there is no template to follow.
As we migrated the first seven local authorities, we and they discovered that digitising, updating and transforming data involved far more work than we had anticipated. As a result, we’ve decided to focus on analysing a full range of LLC data from more local authorities so that we can better understand the task ahead of us.
Twenty-two local authorities have already volunteered a data extract for analysis and have used our newly developed tool to help with this, the Data Analysis Dashboard. This tool provides an initial run down of the type of amendments needed to bring the data to the correct quality standard so that local authorities have a better idea of where they will need to concentrate resource during migration. The tool can also automate some of the required fixes to minimise manual work.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in finding out more about analysing your LLC data.
While our tools can help speed up the process of data migration, the integrity of the register remains of paramount importance. We have been absolutely clear that we aren’t going to compromise on the high quality data standards we have set ourselves – getting the migration right is more important than getting it done quickly.
Further to the seven local authorities already live on the LLC Register, there are now several more in flight to transfer to our central LLC Register this financial year. At the same time we are working with other local authorities to prepare their data for migration so the process can gather pace.
Discussions at the conference
The conference this year, once again expertly compered by Kate Faulkner of the Home Buying and Selling Group, was split into two sections: sessions aimed at local authorities and sessions aimed at customers.
The local authority sessions concentrated on the process of migrating their LLC data to HM Land Registry’s centralised digital LLC Register. Local authorities were keen to exchange views on the data migration experience, with those already on or about to join the LLC Register sharing advice for those yet to begin their migration journey. There were plenty of opportunities to ask their peers questions and, more importantly, get answers.
Customer sessions looked at potential systems to help speed up property transactions and improve the customer journey, including a session about emerging technology in the property industry led by speakers from PM Property Lawyers, Terrafirma, Martin Tolhurst Solicitors, Land Assembly Services and Fitzalan Partners.
Working with others to improve the conveyancing process
We recognise that our work with the LLC Register is one cog in a complex process. Property transactions involve PropTech (property technology) specialists, data experts, conveyancers, property developers, mortgage lenders and other industry experts, all collaborating to improve the conveyancing experience for homebuyers. We were therefore happy to offer our delegates a broad range of interactive sessions from a variety of property professionals.
Nationwide Building Society reported on how collaboration and interaction between lenders and the LLC Programme could enhance the house buying and selling process by providing relevant information upfront. Independent Personal Search Agents illustrated the breadth of search information available to conveyancers and the Coal Authority spoke about how property developers can make the safest choices.
The Society of Licensed Conveyancers facilitated several lively discussions around ways of reducing application enquiries (requisitions) for conveyancers, and how the profession could promote the Property Alert service to strengthen the fight against property fraud.
Digital transformation in the property market
The LLC Register is not the only digital project we are working on at HM Land Registry. Our Digital Street research and development project is experimenting with emerging technology to drive innovation in the property market. The potential of a 3D land register, presented at the conference by HM Land Registry's Lauren Tombs and Cat Bliss, is just one of those ideas and provoked plenty of interest and questions.
Just recently, our ‘Sign your mortgage deed’ service reached its 1,000th digital mortgage signed and registered online. The service has successfully reduced paperwork and delays when applying for a remortgage.
We will continue to work hard in collaboration with others in the property industry to improve the process of buying and selling property for all.