Local Land Charges

If you are a potential buyer of a property in East Hertfordshire, then you may well be aware that, as part of the conveyancing process, a search against that property is conducted.

***Coronavirus updates- Official Searches - Cheque Payments*** 

Following the Government announcement about the lockdown, the East Herts Council Land Charges team are all now working from home. This means that we are currently unable to process cheque payments, but we can now take payment by credit or debit card over the phone.

Please email your search requests in as normal, with the addition of a contact telephone number for the card holder on your email. We will then check that the plan and address match our records, and once we are happy that the search is ready to be logged, we'll call you for payment. There are only two members of the Land Charges team with authorised access to the payment system, so please bear with us! Alternatively, you can submit your searches electronically via NLIS or TM SearchChoice, as our process for these search requests remains unaffected. Thank you for your patience during this time.

***Coronavirus update - Personal Searches***

Following the Government’s recent announcements around Coronavirus, we just wanted to update you on our position regarding personal searches. Although East Herts Council remains open for business, we are now moving to step up measures around social distancing, self-isolation, and homeworking.

Our priority is to ensure we can continue to deliver critical services to our customers and residents, whilst protecting everyone’s health and safety. We have therefore decided to ask you not to attend the office to inspect the Land Charges Register personally, and we will email your search results out to you instead. Please make an appointment as normal, and attach a plan of the property with your confirmation email, until further notice. We will of course keep you updated with any further developments, but for now would like to thank you for your continued patience at this time.

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The search is done to uncover any restrictions or legal obligations on the building(s) or plot of land.

A search is conducted against the "Register of Local Land Charges". This is held and maintained by East Hertfordshire District Council. Searches can be requested by you, or more usually, through your Solicitor.

The Register contains details of all local land charges registered against properties in East Hertfordshire. Charges may relate to matters such as Tree Preservation Orders, Planning Decisions, Grants, Article 4 Directions, Conservation Areas and Listed Building.

A Local Land Charge Search usually comprises two elements, namely:- LLC1Form and CON29 Enquiries of Local Authorities (2016). There is also a form CON290 which consists of optional enquiries. The CON29 lists numerous questions concerning the area being searched, and also if there are any major road proposals with 200 metres of the land/property or traffic schemes abutting the boundaries. The CON29O form contains additional questions in a standard format that may also be asked.

The Form LLC1 and Form CON29 Enquiries of Local Authorities should be completed and submitted with the following:-

  • the correct fee; (see below)
  • a correct and clear address of the land/ property to be searched;
  • two plans with the land clearly edged in red (only modern digitalised plans) will be accepted.

If plans are not supplied, the search will be returned

Forms

The official forms may be purchased from Oyez using the links below:-

LLC1 Form

CON29 Form

CON290 Form

Fees from 1 October 2018

Please note that the CON29 fee will increase on 1st October 2018 from £83.16 to £113.16, bringing the cost of a standard search (LLC1 plus CON29) to £135.21. A list of our new search fees can be found below:

  • Standard search fee (LLC1 + CON29) = £135.21
  • Extra parcel fee with standard search = £24.15
  • Standard search including all CON29O questions = £432.57

Breakdown of fees

  • LLC1 - £22.05 (not vatable)
  • CON29 - £113.16
  • CON29O Qu.4 - 21 - £15.12
  • CON29O Qu.22 - £25.20
  • Extra parcel fee (LLC1) -£5.25 (not vatable)
  • Extra parcel fee (Con29) - £18.90

Methods of submitting forms

We accept searches electronically via the following methods;

As of 1st March 2018, we will no longer use the DX, so paper search requests and any cheque payments should be posted to 'Land Charges, East Herts Council, Wallfields, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8EQ'.

Performance Indicators - February 2020

  2019 2020
No of searches received 227 273
No of searches returned within 5 working days 99% 96%
No of searches returned within 5 - 10 working days 1% 4%
Searches returned in more than 10 working days 0% 0%

Personal Searches

You may undertake a Personal Search of the Land Charges Register by visiting the Council Offices in Hertford. An appointment must be made.  Time slots available are Monday to Friday 9am- 1pm. To make an appointment, please call 01279 502185.   This does not include the Form of Enquiry CON29 - inspection of this data must be arranged separately with the appropriate departments.

Statutory Duty

Searches on properties for a prospective buyer are a statutory duty. East Herts searches are normally returned within 5-10 working days, are completed by officers with several years experience, signed by the Registrar of Local Land Charges and are the only search guaranteed to be complete.