A quicker and simpler property-buying process in Bedford Borough

Mobile phone showing an online search for local land charges

From Monday, 18 March 2024, buying a property in Bedford Borough Council will become quicker and simpler.

As part of a digital transformation programme, the Council have worked with HM Land Registry to transfer their local land charges (LLC) service to the national digital register. The LLC Register allows users to search information online instantly, enabling buying decisions to be made earlier in the conveyancing process. It can be found at https://search-local-land-charges.service.gov.uk/

Most local land charges are restrictions or prohibitions on the use of property or land, such as planning permissions or listed building status. A search of the national register will reveal whether a property is subject to a charge and enable the buyer to make an informed decision about the purchase.

Bedford Borough Council’s digital transformation programme supports wider government priorities to make property transactions quicker, simpler and cheaper. Anyone can access the service at https://www.gov.uk/search-local-land-charges. Business customers can also access it through their HM Land Registry portal account at https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/ or the Business Gateway. 

Councillor Andrea Spice, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Planning at Bedford Borough Council, said, "Bedford Borough Council is committed to make processes such as this more straightforward for our residents and this collaboration with HM Land Registry is a big step in simplifying property transactions. 

“With the launch of the national digital register, buying property in our area will become quicker and easier. We're proud to be joining this innovative initiative, ensuring a better experience for residents and businesses of Bedford Borough.”

Users of the national register can download a personal search free of charge or buy an official search for £15. This will allow unlimited repeat searches for six months. All information is delivered in a standard easy-to-read format, with geospatial maps.

When all local authorities in England and Wales transfer their local land charges service to the national register, it will contain more than 25 million charges. Data users will find it easier to search, merge and digest the information, while entrepreneurs and innovators will be able to develop new social and economic solutions that benefit the wider UK economy. 

For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-land-registry-local-land-charges-programme/local-land-charges-programme.