We must fight to keep our Land Registry public
If you've ever bought a house, it was the Land Registry that documented your ownership rights. The Land Registry has been recording the ownership of land and property in England and Wales since 1862, and has worked well under public ownership. It doesn’t cost taxpayers a penny and has returned money to the Treasury in 19 of the last 20 years, while continuing to reduce its fees.
The Land Registry has more than 24 million titles providing proof of ownership. Easy-to-read documents explaining the paper title deeds are also provided. This makes life easier for everyone involved in buying and selling property. Independent civil servants make sure every entry on the register is correct. They also produce data on house prices and transactions which is used by the government to make policy decisions.
The Land Registry was recently threatened with privatisation, but we helped to keep it in public hands!
What you need to know
- The Land Registry has a 94% customer satisfaction rate
- From 2014 - 2015 it gave £119.1m back to the Treasury
- The Land Registry underpins the guarantee of title of £3 trillion of property
- It shares experience in developing a world class land registration system with other countries
- Our polling shows nearly 70% of the public want it to stay public
In 2014 the Land Registry was close to being privatised but the sale was vetoed by Vince Cable, after a campaign by a range of groups, including high street lawyers and solicitors who use the Land Registry the most.
Earlier this year, the Land Registry was once again under threat. Our report 'Future profits vs short term cash' written by the New Economics Foundation and funded by hundreds of you, showed that we would all lose out if the Land Registry was sold off. On June 30th MPs debated the Government's proposal to privatise the Land Registry and the report was mentioned six times! Here are a couple of examples:
Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West, SNP): "The New Economics Foundation states...that only an in-house Land Registry can continue to deliver a quality, trusted and impartial public service while fairly bringing in new revenue. In the research, the foundation also revealed that the Government’s assurances about the service are meaningless, because no risk assessment has been undertaken"
Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham, Labour): "As a recent report from the New Economics Foundation made clear, in the long term, the sale of the Land Registry would result in a significant loss of income to the Treasury....the decision to review proposals to privatise the Land Registry is being driven by the Treasury’s desire to bring in revenue in the short term without looking at the long-term negative impact that that would have."
The government confirmed in November 2016 that it is not privatising the Land Registry! This is great news - it needs to stay in public hands for future generations.
Wed 12 Oct 2016. Source: www.dorsetecho.co.uk
Wed 07 Sep 2016. Source: www.mirror.co.uk
Wed 20 Jul 2016. Source: www.estateagenttoday.co.uk
Fri 15 Jul 2016. Source: www.publicsectorexecutive.com
Fri 01 Jul 2016.