Land Registry privatisation shelved: a win for property buyers and sellers, say lawyers

8 September 2016

The Government’s decision not to privatise the Land Registry should be welcomed by property buyers and sellers as it is more likely to preserve service standards, says Wilsons.

The Land Registry’s privatisation was not included in today’s Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill as expected, meaning it is unlikely to go ahead.

The Land Registry was due to be sold off under plans drawn up by former Chancellor George Osborne to raise £5bn by 2020 by selling state assets.

Wilsons says that the government’s proposals lacked sufficient safeguards to protect consumers. A recent consultation on the government’s plans to privatise the Land Registry failed to set out a framework for customer complaints – in fact, the document went so far as to rule out the creation of an ombudsman.

Tim Clayden, Partner at Wilsons, says: “The millions of property buyers and sellers who use the Land Registry’s services each year should welcome the Government’s decision to shelve what was a counterproductive plan to privatise it.”

“Service standards at the Land Registry have already suffered slightly in recent years. The Land Registry has undergone substantial cuts to its staff numbers which has made it harder to get to the bottom of issues when they occur.”

“It was difficult to support that case for privatisation when there was no detail at all on how the private business would be held accountable for errors.”

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