Is it Time for the Government to Abandon Land Registry Privatisation for Good?

The UK government have this week postponed plans to privatise the Land Registry, dropping it from the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill discussed on Wednesday. The Land Registry has recorded the ownership of property in England and Wales for over 150 years and it’s suggested privatisation has brought with it concerns surrounding it’s transparency and service provision should it’s status change.

Search Acumen, one of the UK’s leading conveyancing search providers, is a business that works hand-in-hand with the Land Registry, accessing its data to provide efficient services to its customer base. Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director of Search Acumen, has called on the Government to drop its plans to privatise Land Registry, asserting that threats to both the industry and the freedom of data remain.

“The government is thinking again on Land Registry privatisation. If the abandonment of the sale is confirmed, this will be both a victory for common sense and a vindication of the property industry’s spirited campaign against the proposal over the past twelve months,” states Andrew.

“Here at Search Acumen, we welcome this step in the right direction but the matter has not yet been concluded – the threat to both the industry and the freedom of open data remains. Now is the time for property professionals to press the government on the sale and reiterate that it is not only bad for the industry, it is bad for everyone who owns or aspires to own a property.

“Land Registry has come in for quite a bit of criticism over the years for being outdated, old fashioned, inefficient. That’s part of the rationale for a sale. But over the past few years things have actually moved in a much more positive direction, with Land Registry making great strides in commercialising its data, and in grasping the potential of ‘Big Data’. This has allowed innovators and disrupters in the private sector – companies like Search Acumen – to transform the industry for the better through new products that utilise Land Registry data. Entrepreneurs and creative minds are unlocking the opportunities buried in big data, and deploying that acumen to create efficiencies for property and legal professionals.

“Land Registry is committed to going further and release more of its data sets in the near future, so why privatise and jeopardise all of this progress?

“As the UK follows the post-Brexit journey and the housing crisis continues, I hope that the Land Registry is used efficiently to help strengthen our industry rather than add to our problems.”

(Source: Search Acumen)

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