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Press Office

05/11/2007 - 25/07 05/11/2007

CHANGES TO LAND REGISTER ONLINE

In response to concerns expressed by customers about the potential misuse of scanned documents available electronically from Land Register Online and following an extensive review of the service, Land Registry has decided that documents referred to on the register, for example mortgage deeds and leases, should no longer be available electronically from www.landregisteronline.gov.uk

As from midnight on Monday 5 November 2007, online access to these documents will be removed. Members of the public wishing to inspect or have copies of any such documents can do so by applying in writing to Land Registry.

Land Registry acknowledges that removing online access makes the documents less readily available, but believes this to be a positive step which will help to alleviate any risk of misuse.

Mike Westcott-Rudd, Head of Corporate Legal Services, said:

“People can be confident that their property ownership is safeguarded by the state because if someone is a victim of fraud, we have a comprehensive compensation scheme in place to put things right.

“However, fraud is a very serious issue and Land Registry gives it the highest priority. It is important to strike a balance between on the one hand making the system accessible, and simplifying the process of conveyancing, and on the other hand ensuring that appropriate safeguards are written into the system.

“While there is always a risk of fraud, we need to put this risk in context – of £870 million fee income in 2005-06 and 2006-07, just under £12 million was paid out in compensation for fraud or forgery claims.”

ENDS

1.Land Register Online was launched in January 2005 and provides another, very popular, way of enabling the public to access Land Registry information, supplementing the existing methods of postal requests and requests in person. It only makes information available to view. It does not allow anyone to alter the register in any way.

2.With the world’s largest property database of over 21 million titles, Land Registry underpins the economy by safeguarding ownership of many billions of pounds worth of property. Around £1million worth of property is processed every minute in England and Wales.

3.As a government department established in 1862, executive agency and trading fund responsible to the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, Land Registry keeps and maintains the Land Register for England and Wales. The Land Register has been an open document since 1990.

4.For further information about Land Registry, please visit www.landregistry.gov.uk

Marion Shelley 020 7166 4543
marion.shelley@landregistry.gsi.gov.uk

Heather Edwards 020 7166 4487
heather.edwards@landregistry.gsi.gov.uk

 

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