Skip to main content

How we’ve delivered the Local Land Charges service during coronavirus

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Local Land Charges
Model house sits on laptop keyboard.

Continuing through the disruption

During the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), the main focus for HM Land Registry has been to keep our services running as closely to normal as possible, so property transactions can continue.

Local land charges are an essential component of property transactions as they describe restrictions or prohibitions on the use of the property and are normally required in the property-buying process.

Since lockdown began we have made sure that our Local Land Charges Register remains available to customers, with our technical team working remotely to support it. Despite lockdown measures coming into effect, March still saw our fourth highest volume of official local land charges searches sold to date.

We’ve also continued to bring local authorities onto our central register during lockdown – Carlisle City Council went live on 21 April and East Lindsey District Council is due to go live on 26 June. I’d like to acknowledge the dedication and commitment shown by all those involved to overcome these uniquely challenging times.

A resilient, digital service

We’ve been able to continue with migrations to the central, digital register because of its resilience.  Service has been uninterrupted, allowing search results to be downloaded 24/7 for those 10 local authorities who have so far migrated their data.

The benefits of having immediate access to local land charges search results are greatly appreciated by customers. The average time to complete a search has reduced from 39 days to a few minutes for the local authorities migrated to date and the average cost of an official search has reduced from £80 to £15.

The local authorities that have migrated are successfully keeping the register up to date. Ben Martin, Interim Head of Planning and Building Control at Watford Borough Council, who joined the Local Land Charges Register in February, said:

“Joining the Local Land Charges Register has meant that we no longer have to provide search results ourselves as the information is available from the central, digital register and easily accessible to our customers whenever they require the information.

"Having migrated also makes it a lot easier for us to update the central register when required as we can do this from home and registering charges is actually quicker than it has ever been.”

Next steps

We are continuing to work with local authorities across England to prepare their local land charges data for migration by cleansing, digitising and adding spatial data to it.

I’m delighted that the next 12 local authorities to join the central register will be:

  • Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
  • North West Leicestershire District Council
  • Stratford-on-Avon District Council
  • Sevenoaks District Council
  • Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
  • Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
  • Spelthorne Borough Council
  • Pendle Borough Council
  • Epping Forest District Council
  • Hambleton District Council
  • Haringey Council

Continued collaboration

We’ll continue to support local authorities as much as we can to help them migrate to the central Local Land Charges Register. As challenging as times are at the moment, it can bring out the best in people. I’m confident in our ability to continue working collaboratively to expand the Local Land Charges service, to the benefit of the whole property market.

More information about our Local Land Charges Programme.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by William G Ulmann posted on

    Thank you. But for, my mortgage would have gone through....waiting and holding....impressive.... do hope data is stored in several remote locations....was a bean counter....hacking is easy....keep us safe.
    ( I worked for Euratom )

  2. Comment by Jan posted on

    Hi, We paid our LLoyds bank mortgage in full at the end of last year and have written to them a number of times asking for confirmation that Land Registry have been notified so that the charge is noted as discharged when we come to sell the property. They still have not replied. How can I check if it has been done?

    • Replies to Jan>

      Comment by Jan posted on

      Hi Adam, The title number is DN142824 Devon-Teignbridge Mortgage Deed 19th January 1999 HMLR CODE- CY 350

      • Replies to Jan>

        Comment by AdamH posted on

        Jan - that charge was removed back in Nov 2019

        • Replies to AdamH>

          Comment by Jan posted on

          Adam, Thank you so much for that information. I am so impressed with this blog! All best wishes. Jan

  3. Comment by Jane posted on

    Our house sale was agreed back in August 2020. Our buyers are still waiting for local searches to be returned from Epping Council.
    How long should this take?

    • Replies to Jane>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jane - you’ll need to contact the Council as to their current timescales

  4. Comment by Dawn posted on

    We bought my brother in law's half of a property on 21st October and are waiting for land registry property transfer any idea how long this will take please?

    • Replies to Dawn>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Dawn - current timescales are around 4/5 weeks wait. Check with the conveyancer for an update as they can confirm progress online for you through their secure portal

  5. Comment by Jayne Phillips posted on

    My daughter is buying a portion of our house from us and the only thing outstanding is an update to the title which is the change of house name . Her mortgage offer is in the name that we presently use for our house that was also used by the previous owners who never changed it from the original name with the land registry.
    The problem is that my daughters mortgage offer ended today but she has been granted a 15 day extension by her lender. My solicitor applied for the land registry update on the 11 th of this month and as of yet they have not had a reply. They also told me that it had been expedited. My daughters solicitor and my solicitor have agreed a date for completion on the 11 th of December. I am very worried that we may not hear back from the land registry in time. Can you help please?

    • Replies to Jayne Phillips>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jayne - if it’s been expedited then it will be dealt with ASAP. Suggest you check with solicitor to confirm when it was expedited and if that was last week then they should hear very soon

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Jayne Phillips posted on

        Thankyou Adam for your quick response. I will contact my solicitor today. If it has not been expedited would there still be time to do this given the 11 th is the cut off date and that would presumably give the 10 working days between today and the 11 th?

        • Replies to Jayne Phillips>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Jayne - expedition means it should be considered within 2 weeks, usually sooner. What counts is it being in order. Your solicitor should know if it’s in order and completed before the 11th or it’s not in order and more is needed

  6. Comment by Jayne Phillips posted on

    Hi Adam,ok Thankyou for that. When you say in order, I’m sorry but can you clarify exactly what you mean?

    • Replies to Jayne Phillips>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jayne - that it can be completed and registered. Expedition deals with wait times only. Just because it’s urgent doesn’t mean it can be completed

  7. Comment by Jayne Phillips posted on

    Ok Thankyou very much for your help. Without expedition do you have any idea of the wait please?

  8. Comment by Jayne Phillips posted on

    Hi Adam. Our solicitors received the updated title yesterday so all is well. Thankyou for all of your help though.

  9. Comment by Stephanie posted on

    An application for the registration of my property, a first registration as it had never been registered previously, was submitted on my behalf in February this year. I can hardly believe that it has not yet been actioned but I am assured by the conveyancer, who I have paid to get this done for me, that it has not. I am becoming a little worried as I have not seen the deeds since February. I hope they are being kept securely. Do you have any idea when my property will be registered and I'll get my deeds back ?

    • Replies to Stephanie>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Stephanie - there is nothing to worry about if your conveyancer has confirmed that it’s been submitted and received by us. Unfortunately we have had a backlog of this type of work and the Covid impact has also been very significant. So much so that such a wait it not unusual.
      Hopefully it will be considered shortly if it was lodged in February. As far as the deeds are concerned check with your conveyancer as some will submit copies rather than originals