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Land Registry fee increases come under fire

* A Scale 1 fee for a property of £250,000 has increased by £60 from £220 to £280;
* A Scale 2 fee for a property of the same amount has increased by £20 from £70 to £90;
* Information Services for inspection, official copy and official search have all been increased often by a third;
* There will now be a fee payable for all searches of the index map (including those which do not reveal a title number).

The Land Registry has justified the increases by citing the downturn in the property market and the deterioration in the economy as having impacted its intake of work and "leading to an unsustainable reduction in [its] fee income". It said an increase in fees was the only way it could cover its operating costs.

Conveyancing Alliance said it believed both the timing and the actual increase of many fees could not be justified at a time when the property market was in the doldrums and many home purchasers were having to dig even deeper to buy their homes.

Harpal Singh, Managing Director of Conveyancing Alliance, said: "This is just what the market doesn’t need at this time.

"We appreciate that fixed fees for substantive applications haven’t been increased since 1993 and fees for information services have not been increased since 2006.

"However, given the fragile state of the property market, we must question is now really the time to be adding to the burden of those wanting to purchase homes?

"At the very least the Land Registry could have postponed the fee increases. Let’s not forget that many people are already struggling to save money for a property purchase and the many other costs that come with a house move. These increases affect everyone – both buyers and sellers."

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One thought on “Land Registry fee increases come under fire

  1. John Harvey says:

    Harpal Singh does not tell the whole truth. There is not just a failure to increase fees but LR has reduced fees most years and increased efficiency at the same time. Ask any conveyancer.

    Now LR staff (who have not had bonuses during the good years) are being made redundant because bankers have ruined the economy. If the financial services industry had done as well as this public service we would not be in the mess we now have.

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