Land Registry plans risk property market

The 430,000 buildings that were listed before 1999 will not show up on searches for people buying properties, making it unlikely that any listed homes will be displayed, as they have to be at least 30 years old to be listed.

Sherwood-Rogers said: “The very real consequence is that people could find themselves buying a listed property without knowing it as this will not show up on a Land Registry search if the listing took place more than 15 years ago.

“The result of this could be alarming – an unwitting buyer making illegal alterations, adding on a conservatory or even knocking down part of the listed building. This could be an expensive mistake when English Heritage find out and it puts at risk our most valuable and historic housing stock.”

Other significant issues that may not show up if registered before 1999 include conservation areas, tree preservation orders, noise abatement orders and private sewers.

The latter, if not maintained to a high standard, could cause tens of thousands of pounds of damage for the homeowner.

The council added that the government’s plans to centralise the Local Land Charges Resister will have serious implications for the wider property market.

Since unions are involved there are risks of strikes, while property sales will fall through as searches on homes will take up to 40 days to come through.

Homebuyers lastly have to pay more for searches if the Land Registry ends up going through with privatisation.

Sherwood-Rogers added: “The minister, Michael Fallon, claims to be consulting on changes to the Local Land Charges Register but we believe this consultation is a sham, littered with misleading and inaccurate statements. We have written to him demanding he withdraw it immediately and talk to the industry direct.”