Land Charges

As part of our ongoing development of our new digital services, we have been working on the redesign of our Land Charges Service.

What are Land Charges? The main task of the register of Land Charges is to protect a person’s or organisation’s interest in owners of unregistered land. This is not to be confused with our work on creating a single, digital Local Land Charges register. Local Land Charges registers are currently held and maintained by local authorities, and contain charges arisen from statutory powers by a local authority.

The Land Charges Service team have been busy carrying out initial ‘deep dive’ research with our customers. This included evaluating their user journeys, supporting processes and technologies. A big thank you to those who assisted, including over 500 of you who responded to our survey during April 2015.

We’re now planning the first phase which is modernising the ‘Bankruptcy Register’.

So what does this include? Bankruptcy petitions and orders are registered with the Land Charges team. These entries remain on the register for 5 years from the date of registration. If a bankrupt legally owns property that is registered at Land Registry in their sole name, a bankruptcy notice (to protect the rights of creditors) and a Bankruptcy Restrictions Notice (to prevent dealings with the property) may also have been registered against the title of the property.

We’ve prioritised the ‘Bankruptcy Register’ as the first development activity. This is to make sure we’re aligned with the planned Insolvency Rules 2015. We’ll be working together with The Insolvency Service to develop this first phase.

We’ll also be looking at improving Land Registry communications to the debtor in the first phase.

Ongoing user research is important to the development of our digital services. If you’d like to join over 100 of our customers who’ve offered to help, please contact the Land Charges team.

Mina Demaris
By Mina Demaris,
Product Manager at HM Land Registry