Latest News

Government extends support to stop business evictions in 2020

17 September 2020

Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, announced yesterday, 16 September, that all commercial tenants will be protected from the risk of eviction until the end of this year. Read More...

High Court rules in favour of agents over Business Interruption Insurance

15 September 2020

Thousands of companies disputing their insurers' interpretations of liability under Business Interruption Insurance welcome the court ruling today, 15 September, where it found in favour of the arguments advanced for policyholders on the majority of issues brought by the Financial Complaints Authority (FCA) test case. Read More...

New guide helps agents stay on the right side of competition law

15 September 2020

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), together with the Institute of Risk Management, has published a new edition of its short guide on competition law risk that will help agents to identify and reduce competition law risks. Read More...

Changes to local land charge information makes searches easier

Friday 21 August 2020

From 20 August, HM Land Registry updated its Local Land Charges (LLC) service to make searches easier to read and understand.

Additionally, the digitisation of the service, where currently available, has been reduced from 39 days to a few minutes and the average cost of an official search lowered from £80 to £15. The search results will also no longer reveal adjoining registration details, making them more straightforward to read.

Material information made easier

LLC searches are usually required as part of gathering material information on a property. These can be restrictions or prohibitions on the use of a property, such as planning permissions or listed buildings.

Agents need to make sure that all staff are trained on the need for the proper gathering of material information. As well as knowing how to undertake it fully and correctly, even as the market adjusts to the situations of buyers, vendors, and agencies during the pandemic.

Propertymark’s Sales Protocol Toolkit, developed with industry professionals, will provide a practical, best-practice system to ensure agents meet their obligations on gathering property information. Within the Toolkit is a Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ), which can be used alongside HM Land Registry title documents and plans. Encouraging and supporting vendors to complete the PIQ accurately, will speed up transactions and reduce fall-through rates. Omissions and inaccuracies often lead to conveyancers raising queries and this is what creates the delays which stretch the transaction out.

Further changes planned as central register progresses

HM Land Registry continues to work with local authorities in England to migrate its LLC data to a central, digital register. This should make searches even less complex, with instant-access searches of the online data.

Quote mark

We have learned so much more from customers and users about how they use HM Land Registry’s Local Land Charges service and what works for them. Following their feedback, the introduction of these changes mean that we can provide better customer service and reduce some of the work required by users to interpret LLC data. We are engaging with our user groups and are always looking to improve our service design to create the best service possible.

Mark Edwards, LLC Service Manager, HM Land Registry

Sales Protocol Toolkit

Training staff on the toolkit can speed up the buying and selling process, increase cash flow and commission, and provide both transparency and certainty. 

Download the Toolkit