June 2016 – Land Registry

June 2016 – Land Registry

Thank you for your recent email regarding the Land Registry.

The Land Registry continues to be an essential part of land and property ownership in England and Wales. It undertakes a range of functions and responsibilities, which support an effective and functioning property market by providing assurance to those who have an interest in land and property and a state-backed guarantee to title. In this way, a well-functioning Land Registry underpins housing supply, home ownership and economic growth.

Those functions remain crucial, but as long as the right protections are put in place, including keeping the statutory register under government ownership, there is no obvious reason that all of the Land Registry’s functions should be carried out within the public sector. Indeed, Land Registry could have more freedom in the private sector to continue to evolve into a high performing, innovative business, delivering for customers and the wider market in a 21st century, digital economy.

To understand the arguments better, the Government has been consulting on the future of land registration operation and will analyse this feedback in due course. Although the Government has set out a proposed model, no final decisions have been made. As such, we cannot pre-judge what any final model will look like.

However, under all proposals currently being considered, the Land Registers for England and Wales would remain under Crown ownership to ensure the integrity of the register is maintained and, as well as retaining the register under Crown ownership, Government is considering a range of protections and safeguards to protect land registry customers and the wider economy if there were to be a privatisation, such as data protection, disputes handling and fee setting.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.