HM Land Registry launches complex commercial transactions service

Ryan Fowler

November 4, 2019

Land Registry has launched two new services that make it easier for customers to register complex commercial transactions or infrastructure developments.

The Pre-submission Enquiry Service provides those managing complex commercial projects with technical and procedural guidance, prior to submitting an application. It provides direct access to a team of expert caseworkers which can address potential issues before applications are submitted.

Its Application Management Service aims to give customers end-to-end assistance, from the initial discussion prior to lodgment, through to post-completion support.

Chris Pope, chief operations officer at Land Registry, said: “We are working to fulfil our business strategy commitment to help customers who manage large complex commercial transactions or infrastructure developments.

“These customers often handle multi-layered transactions, which can be complicated by priority issues and have several firms representing different parties.

“We want to continue to create efficiencies that improve the conveyancing process for everyone. By listening to customers and capitalising on our caseworkers expertise, we are delivering services that meet market needs.”

Land Registry said that closer working between customers and caseworkers had already resulted in application quality improvements.

Caroline Robinson, commercial real estate business development manager at Search Acumen, added: “Managing due diligence and planning around complex commercial real estate transactions can be fraught with risk.

“Relying on paper trails that take months to collate means that problems can be overlooked, and issues not identified until a development is in process.

“This can often cost projects time and money.

“That’s why it’s good to see that the government is supporting the commercial real estate sector with new pre-application support and application process services that allow due diligence professionals to work directly with the authorities to ensure they are on the right track. This will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning process.

“But there is much work to do. Law firms must begin to change their mindset and try and learn more from the outset of the project using digital data now available to them.

“This means embedded systems and processes reticent to change must be reassessed and data-driven approaches must be embraced. Being able to better identify future problems before building begins is invaluable.”

The launch follows two successful pilots, which began in June 2018 with 11 customers.


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