Since 31 March 2019, the Council no longer accepts payment by cheque for land charges searches, so the fee will need to be paid by debit/credit card transaction or by BACS. Further details regarding how to pay are available on the Local Land Charges Search page.
The Council’s Local Land Charges section is based at the Hailsham office and is responsible for the maintenance of the Local Land Charges Register together with processing local authority searches of the Register.
What is a Local Land Charge?
A Local Land Charge is a restriction or prohibition on a particular parcel or parcels of land. This has been put in place either to secure the payment of a sum of money, or to limit the use (in the widest sense) to which the land may be put. The charge is binding on successive owners or occupiers of the parcel or parcels of land.
Returning Searches Electronically
Local Land Charges are able to return your search results electronically to you, provided an email address is supplied with your request.
A Land Charges search is made up of various parts. Searches can be submitted via 3 methods, or can take the form of a personal search. You can also find details of the current fees charged on this page.
Please Note: A new Schedule of Fees will be introduced as from 1st April 2020 and further details of these fees will follow shortly.
An information schedule for personal search companies is available providing details on how to locate information contained on the CON 29 Forms.
Performance and the Stamp Duty holiday – currently scheduled to end 31st March 2021
The Stamp Duty holiday has driven a substantial increase in property transactions. There were already backlogs in the system due to COVID19 and effects on the housing market. Consequently, we are receiving unprecedented numbers of Local Land Charges search requests, which has increased our turnaround time. The team are working as fast as possible, while maintaining the accuracy the searches need. To ensure fairness for everyone, all searches are processed in order.
Searches in December took approximately 6 to 7 working weeks from the date a solicitor or their search agency sends the first request to us. This might not be the date you paid for the searches. Once returned, the search agency or solicitor will need additional time to inspect them. The Land Charges team is always helpful but enquiries about progress divert the staff from their investigations. If you are able to calculate your own expected return date rather than contacting us, it would help by giving us more time for searching. Please allow an additional week and a half for the Christmas closure when calculating a return date.
We do appreciate the urgency to complete property transactions by the Stamp Duty holiday deadline. We are working hard to assist with this. We have added extra resource to the team, but please note we are extremely busy. We do not expedite searches. Search requests received with correct documentation, addresses and plans before 20th January 2021 are likely to be returned in time to meet the 31st March deadline. Therefore, it is recommended that search agencies and solicitors check their submissions for accuracy, send the request in good time and pay promptly when requested.
Rest assured that our award winning team is skilled at processing searches efficiently and accurately, and will return your LLC searches as soon as possible.
Although we will endeavour to return as many of the later ones as possible, requests received after 20th January 2021 are unlikely to be returned in time to meet the deadline.
Wealden Team Wins Award 2020
The Local Land Charges team at Wealden District Council were presented with a winning trophy the Local Authority Searches Team of the Year at the Land Data Local Land Charges Awards for Excellence held in March 2020. This is the first time the LA has won this award category, and in 2015 and 2016 they were awarded the Best Customer Experience Award and highly commended for the Customer Satisfaction Award in 2016. They were also winners of the Best Electronic Service Delivery in 2012 and were also the Best NLIS Local Land Charges Department in 2011.
The Local Land Charges Institute Board who judge this category look for evidence of local land charges teams who can demonstrate highly effective team working, continuity of service, responding fully to customer needs, high levels of fully completed searches and consistently high turnaround times. There were over 200 nominations and entries for 73 different local authorities were submitted by solicitors, licensed conveyancers, customer service experts and local land charges personnel.