Bad Vibes Re Land Registry Privatisation
Earlier in the year the Government put out a consultation paper seeking feedback re the privatisation of Her Majesty’s Land Registry, its non-ministerial department responsible for registering the ownership of land and property in England and Wales.
So far it seems many credible bodies/committees in both the Government and the legal profession are staunchly against the idea. The Law Society has commented that the Land Registry is not an operation which can be easily privatised and that doing so would present unique risks in terms of conflicts of interest, corruption and fraud.
Bernard Jenkin, Tory MP and Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee has expressed concerns and points out that privatisation would cause unavoidable tension in light of the Government’s commitment to making data available on a free and open basis.
The majority of members of the Conveyancing Association (CA) have voted to oppose the government’s proposals to move the Land Registry to the private sector. The trade association’s consensus of opinion shows its members believe privatisation would not be in the best interests of clients, the conveyancing profession or the Land Registry itself.
The Government cites its reasons for putting the consultation out there as, “A sale of Land Registry could allow government to pay down debt, or enable other investment for the benefit of taxpayers. It is expected that a move into the private sector would also allow Land Registry to become even more efficient. At the same time it could continue with an appropriate level of service to support the property market.”