Land Registry Launches Consultation on Proposals to close Telephone Services

Land Registry today, 4 May 2012, launched a consultation on proposals to change Land Charges legislation that will enable it to provide a wider range of services online, and close down its telephone ordering service for business customers (Telephone Services), which can be used for both Land Charges and Land Registry applications.

As a result of a significant increase in business customers taking up its online services, demand for Telephone Services has reduced by 95 per cent and continues to fall. This means that the service will soon be running at a financial loss. The proportion of applications ordered by telephone is now around 2 per cent, compared with 87 per cent ordered online and 11 per cent by post.

The proposed rule changes will align the Land Charges rules with the Land Registration Rules 2003, allowing the submitting of applications and issuing of results by means other than by post or personal delivery. The changes will provide more flexibility in how Land Charges services are provided and will enable a more efficient and responsive service for customers by delivering products and services through cost-effective channels that meet their needs.

Malcolm Dawson, Chief Land Registrar said:

“The changes set out in the consultation would enable us to make better use of available technology to provide a ‘self-service’ channel for our customers. The changes will enable us to improve and modernise our processes, and become more flexible, efficient and responsive to customers’ needs. It’s clear that the vast majority of our customers want to access these services electronically and, as a result, the telephone service is no longer sustainable. We need to amend the Land Charges legislation to ensure we can continue to provide relevant and cost effective services to our customers.

“Consultation is required when we consider changes to legislation, and we now welcome your participation and your views.”

A post-consultation report will be published on following a ministerial review. If the proposals are confirmed, and subject to ministerial approval, the changes are expected to be implemented by the end of 2012.

05 May 2012