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The Transactional GOV.UK, the Land Registry and the future of Conveyancing

Subject: Blog Posts

Description: Where I bang on in a crudely written 500 words what we all can expect to be the future of conveyancing

submit to reddit Posted by David Caldwell on 14/05/14 at 20:28

Work is currently being undertaken by the British Government to develop new software applications that will create a one stop shop between the citizen and public services.  The Crown Procurement service is currently receiving tenders from private companies to achieve this.

The initiative will be showcased during the Local Government association conference next month and will require public bodies such as local authorities to get their data and systems in order.

The majority of LA systems are now reaching the end of their useful lives and are written in archaic programming languages that do not connect between departments let alone across public bodies or heaven forbid the end customer. 

The concept if successful would enable a citizen to login to GOV.UK and operate transactions such as applying for benefits such as Carers Allowance, search for a job, or submit building control applications or planning applications.  Citizens would be able to apply to licencing departments for hackney cab licenses or request temporary event notices such as street parties or concerts.

One of the more radical GOV.UK transactional functions is to encroach into the territory of conveyancing and provide an interface between the home owner, the owner’s conveyancer, the buyer and their conveyancer and the mortgage lender.

Much publicity exists around the two concurrent Land Registry consultations, Local Land Charges and Wider Powers and the Commercial Model that may see the Land Registry split into the Office of the Registrar and a Privatised Land Registry either outsourced to the highest bidder or operating as a GovCo.

Today saw the first day of strike action by the PCS who are fighting to defend their member’s jobs and benefits which will be endangered by the land registries proposed direction of travel towards privatisation and transformational change of office functions.

Oddly the land registry chose today to place a video on YouTube which showcased progress on ‘Completing the Concept’.  Most intriguing is the proposal that every property in England and Wales will have its own page on GOV.UK, this will be viewable by all via Google.  There will also be a property search tool to search and view details for a property.  Now it gets interesting, you will be able to register yourself as the owner of the property which will become ‘my property’.

From the ‘My Property’ screen you will be able to view the title register, any covenants or restrictions such as a listed building or a tree preservation order.

If you wish to sell the property you can appoint a solicitor or conveyancer.  Authorise a buyer’s solicitor to view the information, see mortgage details and preform credit checks

Also on the menu are the EPC (energy performance certificate), Local Land Charges register, Flood Risk, Rights of Way and Council Tax Banding.  You could also complete a questionnaire of fixtures and fittings.

In essence the ‘My Property’ page becomes a pre exchange pack. 

The completion and transfer date will be displayed and the transfer of title can be made via the same dashboard.

Public bodies will have to implement new systems and get their data in order or be in breach of as yet undrawn service level agreements.

Once this goes live it will have a huge impact on conveyancing and conveyancers that can only be guessed at, could it be made self-service or just be tailored to satisfy the concerns of lenders? 

Below is the video and some screen captures.



Keywords:, land registry, local land charges, consultation, Privatisation

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