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Property lawyers reject Land Registry privatisation plans

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Property lawyers reject Land Registry privatisation plans

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development

More jobs to go at Land Registry More jobs to go at Land Registry

Property lawyers and conveyancers have no appetite for proposals to privatise the Land Registry, a new survey has revealed.

The Council of Property Search Organisations' (CoPSO) survey found that 97% of conveyancers think privatising the registry would be a "bad thing".

Proposals to centralise local land charges were also met with opposition, with only 23% of respondents seeing it as a positive move.

And when asked for their reaction to the proposal that under the new structure the Land Registry will only capture data that is less than 15 years old, nearly 97% of the respondents said it was unacceptable.

However, when asked if the Land Registry should become a depository for all leasehold information more than 80% of the conveyancers agreed.

James Sherwood-Rogers, chairman of CoPSO, whose members carry out around two million searches a year, said: “In our view the Land Registry is deliberately misleading ministers and the public about the demand for the reforms.

“There is no support whatsoever for the reforms to the search and data activity, no evidence that this is a problem in the housing market and the changes proposed will cause widespread disruption and additional cost for consumers

"Ministers need to explain why they are so intent on fixing a problem that does not exist rather than sorting out the problems that exist in respect of leasehold properties.”

CoPSO has now written to Michael Fallon, the Minister of State for Business and Energy, calling on him to scrap the consultation on centralisation of the local land charges register amid serious concerns that the changes will put listed homes at risk and destabilise the housing market.

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