The Stratford-on-Avon District Council Land Charges team provides information about land and buildings in response to searches, so that purchasers can find out about - for example - obligations enforceable against successive owners, and also certain planning and building control issues.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has now published guidance for the general public on how to buy a home and how to sell a home. This guidance has been developed following meetings with stakeholders including the Local Land Charges Institute.
A solicitor would usually request a search using standard forms LLC1 - search of Local Land Charges Register and CON29 - Enquiries of Local Authority. These can be purchased by forwarding one or both enquiries and the required fee to the council.
The search of the Local Land Charges Register (LLC1) ensures that purchasers of land and property are not caught unaware by obligations enforceable against successive owners under the terms of various statutes.
The standard enquiries search (CON29) includes details of planning matters and environmental and enforcement notices and provides information supplied by the county council on road status, road agreements, road and traffic schemes, rights of way, open access land, compulsory purchase and outstanding statutory notices. Information concerning land ownership, water and drainage, common land and village greens can also be supplied through the search process.
A “personal search" is a request to inspect or receive copies of unrefined property-related information. Most responses to enquiries listed on the Law Society's CON29, CON29O and LLC1 form will contain environmental information, and therefore the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) will apply, unless you ask us to provide an enhanced service.
Where you ask us to process your request for environmental information under the provisions of the EIR, we will respond to the request within 20 working days. The information provided will be unrefined data, in the sense that it will not be enhanced or interpreted by the council in any way. The response does not provide answers to the questions asked on the standard enquiry form. We do not provide anything in writing and the onus is on the person carrying out the search to ensure they discover all issues that affect the property.
All environmental information held on a public register or on a list kept by the council must be provided free of charge under the EIR. The same applies to the examination of environmental information where the council makes a place available for that purpose.
If the register or list is published on the council's website you will be able to access it using a public terminal or, where your request is sent by email, the council will send you a link so that you can view the register or list from your own computer. If the council is unable to provide examination facilities for whatever reason, the information will be provided by some other method.
Public authorities may make a reasonable charge for other categories of environmental information made available under the EIR, including environmental information provided as part of a personal search. However, currently Stratford-on-Avon District Council does not charge for this service.
For details of the basis for calculation of the Land Charges search fees please view:
Issued on 30 August 2018:
Stratford-on-Avon District Council is investing £315,000 modernising its Land Charges system to improve the service for residents.
The system provides vital information for residents completing searches for house purchases. The project will see new software introduced and the system fully digitised, enabling council staff to increase efficiency while reducing the turnaround time for search requests.
Councillor Daren Pemberton, Planning & Building Services Portfolio, said: "While the current system has served us well for many years, it has not kept pace with the increasing volume and complexity of search requests. These can currently take eight weeks or more to process, so this investment is a vital step towards meeting our residents' needs by achieving our service standard of turning around requests in 10 working days. Buying and selling a house can be a stressful experience and this investment will ensure we provide a smooth, efficient and quick service during that time."
The council's project is wide-ranging, involving the Land Charges team and other departments such as Planning, Building Control and IT. It will see the conversion of all existing data into a new single digital format, making access to the right information at the right time easier and speeding up the service for residents.
The new system will also help the council prepare for HM Land Registry's project to provide an online portal for a national Local Land Charges Register service.
Councillor Daren Pemberton added: "The new software, from specialist supplier Idox, is due to go live before the end of this year. The implementation project has already identified new ways historical data can be further enhanced in terms of accessibility and updates, and we are committed to a programme of continuous improvement beyond the launch of the new system. During the implementation period there will be additional pressure on service delivery, but the team has identified this new system and the process improvements it supports as the most effective route to ensuring the Land Charges service is fit for the future."
For further information please contact the Land Charges team:
Please also refer to the Land Registry website for more information.