Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director of Search Acumen, comments:
“Search Acumen is excited to get down to work and begin to utilise HM Land Registry’s (HMLR) newly opened, central digital Local Land Charges (LLC) register. It is early days, but we think the ability to immediately execute LLC searches will completely transform UK property transactions.
“According to HMLR, decentralised LLC searches ranged from a few pounds to nearly £100, depending on the local authority. And, because the process is often manual, turnaround time can fluctuate from one business day to more than 40 days. With around 979,000 transactions registered over the last four quarters across England and Wales, that’s anywhere between 979,000 working days of waiting time at best, or more than 39 million at worst.
“It’s therefore no surprise that LLC searches have too often been the fly in the ointment for both residential and commercial property transactions. Property professionals have been at the mercy of a fragmented process that can result in a sub-optimal service for their clients. The launch of the central digital register today is a big step towards getting as close to the best-case scenario as possible, and even going one better through digital technology.
“Improved data access, standardised fees and faster turnaround times mean solicitors and conveyancers will save millions of days a year in unnecessary waiting times – and property buyers will save millions of pounds in unnecessary costs.
“We are strong proponents of the digitisation and the centralisation of the country’s property big data. Being able to offer a ubiquitous and boundless resource for conveyancers and property lawyers will allow for the legal aspects of building, buying and selling property to become a seamless process from end to end.”