Land Registry proposes increase in fees

The Land Registry, the government department responsible for registering land in England and Wales, is proposing a fee hike.

The increases are due to come into effect on 6 July and are intended to reduce the current operating loss caused by the reduction in the number of transactions in the property market.

The Land Registry is dependent on fee income to cover its costs and has been seriously affected by the fall in property and mortgage transactions over the past year.

The increases mean that the fee for registering a property worth £100,000 would increase from £100 to £130. For a property worth £1m, the fee would go up from £420 to £550.

There will also be increases in fees for providing information, including official searches and official copies, with for example, the fee for a postal official search increasing from £6 to £8.

Heather Foster, finance director at the Land Registry, says: “A range of measures has already been taken to cut costs including a voluntary redundancy scheme and an accelerated plan to merge offices.

“Whilst these measures have helped to keep increases as small as possible, an increase is unavoidable and will mean – for an average priced property of £153,000, the increase is £50.

“We do not believe this will be a deterrent to market recovery, especially in the context of interest rates at historically low levels and lower house prices.

“Fee increases are rare. Since 1993, eight of the nine Fee Orders (amending the level of fees) introduced by Land Registry have reduced fees. We will, of course, keep the new fees closely under review.”