Society warns against privatisation
The Law Society has responded to the government’s consultation on the introduction of a Land Registry service delivery company, warning that the proposals could undermine the integrity of the register.
Jonathan Smithers, Law Society deputy vice-president and conveyancing and land law committee chair, said granting and validating legal title must be carried out with impartiality. “The Land Registry is part of the UK’s critical national infrastructure… we are concerned that the proposals could introduce conflicts of interest with potentially adverse economic results.”
The Society has called on the government to be more specific about the benefits for the public of its proposals, particularly in view of the inherent risks. If the government proceeds with the split and sets up a service delivery company, the Society’s preferred option would be a 100% government-owned company.
Lower fees in force from 17 March
The Land Registration Fee Order 2013 came into force on 17 March. In a move to incentivise customers to submit applications electronically, it reduces fees for some online applications. The main changes include combining the two lowest Scale 1 fee bands, making the Land Registry fee for registering properties worth up to £80,000 just £40; the Scale 1 fee is reduced from £120 to £80 for properties valued between £80,001 and £100,000; and there is also a flat fee per document (£3 electronically / £7 paper application) for inspection and official copies of documents.