The Local Land Charges Register and CON29 Function, Including Basic History
Local Land Charges Register
Local Land Charges were created by the Land Charges Act of 1925 with Registers being maintained by both county and district authorities. Local government reorganisation in the early 1970s resulted in the closure of the County Registers. Following a Law Commission report, the Local Land Charges Act of 1975 and Rules of 1977 were passed and came into effect. These remain the principal regulations governing the Local Land Charges Register, maintenance, access and the charging of fees.
A Local Land Charges Register is maintained by every local authority in England and Wales (with the exception of County Councils).
Purpose of the Register
To record details of all entries registered against properties within the borough that fall within the definition of a local land charge e.g. expressly made a local land charge by statute or a charge which is a restriction or prohibition on a parcel of land securing payment or restricting use and is binding on successive owners. There are 12 different parts of the LLC Register covering a wide range of areas, e.g. financial charges, planning, miscellaneous, aviation, listed buildings and light obstructions notices
Purpose of a LLC Register Search (LLC1 Search)
To provide applicants with details of entries on the LLC Register in respect of the property(s) being searched. An LLC1 search can be carried out in respect of 12 parts of the Register or just single parts.
Enquiries of Local Authority (CON29R and O)
The CON29 form has been in use for over 50 years and was created to complement the LLC Register search. The form contains a standard set of enquiries agreed by central government, the Law Society and local authorities. Copyright for the CON29 form itself remains with the Law Society and the LGA.
The CON29 enquiry form serves to provide prospective purchasers with information that relates to the property being searched and in some cases the area where the property is situated. It provides information on items in existence as well as items that are in the pipe line/being considered and/or awaiting approval. It is often these items that without the CON29 enquiry form would go unnoticed and have a material effect on the future use, development and enjoyment as well as laying a financial burden on the property. Whilst some of the enquiries seem to replicate areas of the LLC Register this is not the case as the information revealed in response relates to notices or procedures prior to LLC Registration.
The majority of information used in response to the CON29 enquiries comes from within the local authority or from the County Council (where applicable).
A CON29 enquiry form can be completed by either the local authority or another body. However the LA completed CON29 is backed by LA insurance and is commonly referred to as an official CON29. Completion of the CON29 form by the LA is not a statutory function but a contractual one upon payment of the required fee.
Function of the LLC Service.
The LLC Section maintains the statutory LLC Register, facilitates statutory official and personal searches of the Register and completes the CON29 enquiry forms submitted officially and in some cases facilitates access to CON29 information by the private search sector and any member of the public.
Function of the Local Authority Search (LLC1 and CON29)
A local authority search provided either by the local authority or the equivalent search report provided by a private search company forms part of the standard conveyancing process for the purchase of land and/or property. The search results are used to assist a prospective purchaser to decide on the desirability and suitability of the property as well as informing of any enforceable registrations in existence and future proposals under consideration at the time the search was carried out.
To guarantee accuracy and provision of the latest information, the Local Land Charges Institute always recommends the use of an Official Local Authority Search consisting of an official LLC1 and CON29 form, submitted to and completed by the relevant local authority.