Conveyancers in England and Wales celebrate 21yrs of electronic searches

Land DataBy Legal Futures Associate Land Data

  • Over 26 million searches delivered through the NLIS hub
  • All 7 NLIS channel partners sign contracts for next 2 years

21 years ago today the digital transformation of the local authority local land charge sector began thanks to the launch of the National Land Information Service (NLIS) – an organisation set up at the request of government in April 2001, to bring the local land charge sector online, making the homebuying process quicker and smoother

Over the past 21 years the NLIS ‘Hub’, the platform which provides a single point of electronic access to every local authority in England and Wales, as well as HM Land Registry, the Coal Authority and others, has processed over 26 million conveyancing searches.

Back in 2001 conveyancers and solicitors would place search requests with local land charge officers by phone, DX, post or fax. The arrival of NLIS meant a quicker response, and a more seamless process with less administration.

Whilst the NLIS Hub isn’t the only method of carrying out land and property searches, it is the only one agreed upon between central and local government, regulated by Land Data, and which includes data from every local authority in England and Wales.

Crucially, all searches carried out through the Hub are ‘authoritative searches’, using data from source, ensuring its provenance, value and giving homebuyers (and their solicitors) the reassurance they need. Conveyancers and solicitors also benefit from simple online payment systems, reduced risk and liability, and 24/7 accessibility.

Land Data the NLIS regulator is also announcing today that it has signed contracts with all seven NLIS channel partners for the next two years – the organisations via whom conveyancers and solicitors request searches. This is the highest number of channels in NLIS history, representing a significant share of the overall land and property search market.

Fiona Barron, Land Data Chief Executive, commented: 

“NLIS has come of age and is as valuable now as it was 21 years ago, offering the legal community secure access to conveyancing search data with total confidence the information they receive will be from source, with all statutory indemnities in place.  We’re looking forward to the next 21 years!”

Nick Dyoss, the NLIS Hub Director, and Founding Member of the Conveyancing Information Executive (CIE) said: 

“It is great news that we have renewed our seven channel contracts to 2024, enabling us to continue providing our unique service to conveyancers from across the UK – connecting them to every local authority in England and Wales. The NLIS channel network is the largest it’s ever been and remains the safest and most secure hub on the market, offering the highest standards of electronic property search accessibility available today.”


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