A local land charge is an obligation that goes with owning a particular parcel of land or property. Local land charges may be of a financial or non-financial nature. It may secure the payment of a sum of money or limit the use to which the land may be put. Charges are binding on successive owners or occupiers.
These restrictions are not normally shown on your deeds so your solicitor performs a local authority search as part of the conveyancing when you buy or re-mortgage a property. A search will reveal any existing charges. The result may help you decide whether to proceed with the proposed purchase.
Depending on what questions have been asked the local land charges search will identify:
- the planning history of the site and any queries arising over its use
- the planning policies which affect the site
- any developments directly affecting the site.
- any local land charge that would restrict use or could result in a charge being directed at the new owner of the property.
Local Land Charges (LLC) Register
A Local Land Charges Register is maintained by every local authority in England and Wales (with the exception of county councils). There are 12 different parts of the LLC Register covering a wide range of areas such as financial charges, planning, miscellaneous, listed buildings and light obstructions notices.
Personal search or full local authority search
A personal search is carried out online by yourself or a third party. It only searches the Local Land Charges Register and does not reveal the information provided by a full search.
Full searches are carried out by us, the local authority, in accordance with the Local Land Charges Act 1975 providing complete replies to the official certificate of search (LLC1) and CON 29 enquiries.
The results are usually returned via email within 10 working days.
Certificate of search (form LLC1)
A person acting on behalf of a home seller or buyer can either undertake a personal land charges search or obtain a search from the local authority. Form LLC1 is used to request a search from our land charges team.
Enquiries (form CON29)
The CON29 form has been in use for over half a century and was created to complement the LLC1 register search. The form contains a standard set of enquiries agreed by central government, the Law Society and local authorities. Copyright of the CON29 form remains with the Law Society and the LGA.
You can search the land register on the GOV.UK website to find a property's owner, order title plans, see any rights of way and other details.