Government tries to sell off our Land Registry – AGAIN!
Why is this so important? – Because anyone who has bought, or intends to buy, property in England and Wales will be affected by this.
What does the Land Registry do?
- Keeps the register of the ownership of land and property in England and Wales
- Provides owners with a land title that is underpinned by the state
- Ensures that property conveyances, transfers and mortgages, are properly executed and legally effective,
- Pays millions into the Treasury each year and costs the tax payer nothing!
There are three key questions to ask when considering privatisation?
Is it a drain on the public purse? NO. Last year The Land Registry paid more than £100million into the exchequer and has made a profit for the taxpayer in 19 of the past 20 years. While continually reducing its fees to the public.
Will it increase competition? – NO. There can only be one organisation that registers ownership of land. So privatisation will create a private monopoly.
Will it improve customer satisfaction? – NO. The Land Registry has a 98 per cent customer satisfaction rate. There is certainly no public demand for the Government to sell.
Privatising it just doesn’t make sense.
In 2014 the Land Registry was close to being privatised by the coalition government but the sale was vetoed by Vince Cable after a campaign by a range of groups, including high street lawyers and solicitors and the public.
Now it is under threat again. The government has released a public consultation on privatising the Land Registry and they want it sold by next year.
This is something we should all be involved in. It doesn’t matter whether you think privatising the Land Registry is good or bad, make your views known by replying to the consultation at http://budurl.com/LandRegConsultation
Last time privatisation was tried, a petition of over 120,000 signatures helped change the governments mind.
A new petition has been started against the current privatisation plan at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/save-land-reg and it has already reached over 165,000 signatures.
I will leave the last word to the former Chief Land Registrar at the land Registry John Manthorpe! He said last year, “The role of the Land Registry is not an activity that any responsible Government can pass to the private sector.”
Author: James Ferguson
James Ferguson is a Director of X-Press Legal Services in Cornwall and Devon and Advocate at Law Plain and Simple.