Land charges frequently asked questions

What do the CON 29 questions cover?

The CON 29 enquiries questionnaire, which forms part of the official search, contains many "warning" questions, the answers to which you will not find on any of the statutory registers.

Examples of the information to be found only by submitting a CON 29 are given below:-

  • Compulsory Purchase Orders
  • Proposed Tree Preservation Orders
  • Notices under the Planning, Highways and Public Health Acts not found on any register
  • Road proposals or schemes (including road widening)
  • Proposed enforcement action or breach of condition notices
  • Building Regulations

If you rely on a personal search from a solicitor or personal search company, may we remind you that they are not given or entitled to receive, answers to the questions on the CON 29, and any information they do obtain is not covered by Section 10(3) of the Local Land Charges Act 1975 which relates to compensation for loss. The only way to receive this information is to submit the Official Certificate of Search (LLC1) and CON 29 enquiries forms.

An official local authority search provides you with the complete and comprehensive information as per the CON 29 enquiries form, carried out by the Council in accordance with the Local Land Charges Act 1975 and Local Land Charges Rules 1977.

What is the Local Land Charges Register?

The Local Land Charges Register consists of twelve parts. The following are examples of the types of information or 'charges' that might be found on the Local Land Charges Register:

Financial Charges: Detailing amounts of money that are due to the Local Authority, usually these amounts have been incurred as a result of works carried out by the Council in default and are binding on successive owners.

Conservation Areas: These areas have been designated by the authority as areas containing special architectural or historic interest. Obviously it is desirable to preserve or enhance these areas. This designation gives additional controls over new buildings or demolition works. The Conservation Area designation also helps to protect Trees. Therefore before carrying out any works to trees within a Conservation Area contact the Planning Office for advice.

Smoke Control Orders: Only certain approved types of fuel can be used in Smoke Control Areas e.g. smokeless coal.

These are the 12 parts of the Land Charges Register:

  • Part 1: General financial charges
  • Part 2: Specific financial charges
  • Part 3: Planning Charges
  • Part 4: Miscellaneous charges
  • Part 5: Fenland ways maintenance charges (now CLOSED)
  • Part 6: Land compensation charges
  • Part 7: New towns charges
  • Part 8: Civil aviation charges
  • Part 9: Opencast coal charges
  • Part 10: Listed buildings charges
  • Part 11: Light obstruction notices
  • Part 12: Drainage scheme charges

In addition to the registrable items revealed on the Local Land Charges Register a potential purchaser will also wish to be made aware of any notices about to be served on the property that will become binding upon any new purchaser upon completion. To cover these important but non-registrable items the questionnaire form CON29 is available.

What forms are required

An official certificate of search is normally carried out by your solicitor when a property or piece of land is being purchased, leased or mortgaged. The application for the search must be signed by the applicant or a solicitor; accompanied with the prescribed fee and must clearly define the property or piece of land to be searched against, including a plan of the area edged in red, preferably an up to date Ordnance Survey map, scale 1:1250.

The information provided by the Local Authority relates to the property or piece of land identified by the official certificate of search.  If you require information on surrounding land please contact the Local Land Charges department for advice (see Contact Details).

Current turn round time for written searches

Our current turn-round time for Local Land Charge official searches (LLC1 and CON29R) is 3 working days. For 2010/11 our average turn-round time was 4.5 days.

Urgent situations

What if you are struggling to meet tight deadlines, but desire a professional and accurate service that can be obtained only by submitting an Official Certificate of Search?

At Richmond we have always encouraged enquirers to contact us first if they have urgent searches and we fully understand that there are times when tight deadlines need to be met. If you should find yourself in this situation please contact us on 020 8891 7774. We will endeavour to meet your deadlines and to provide you with a complete and comprehensive official certificate of search within the 2 to 4 day timescale offered by most Personal Search Agencies.

Can I submit one search application for more than one property?

A separate requisition for search should be made in respect of each parcel of land in respect of which a search is required. Except where, for the purpose of a single transaction, a certificate is required in respect of two or more parcels of land which have a common boundary or are separated only by a road, railway, river, stream or canal. In which case all the property addresses can by included in the one transaction.

The fee is then calculated at a standard search fee for the first property and a reduction called the additional parcel fee for the second property and so on (see fee table above).

What is an additional parcel?

An additional parcel means land (including a building or part of a building) which is separately occupied or separately rated or, if not occupied or rated, is in separate ownership.

For the purpose of this definition an owner is the person who (in his own right or as trustee for any other person) is entitled to receive the rack rent of land. Or, where the land is not let at a rack rent, would be so entitled if it were so let.

What about Commons Register searches?

The LB of Richmond Upon Thames is the Commons Registration authority for all land within the borough and Local Land Charges deal with all such enquiries.

Form CR21 was abolished (along with the statutory fee of £14.00) 1st October 2007, Commons searches are now dealt with in the CON29O form under Question 22 and are charged at £12.00 each.

(there is no personal search facility for Commons Registers)."

Who do I contact with drainage enquiries?

For your drainage searches in the Richmond Area, please contact:

Thames Water Utilities
Residential

Tel: 0118 923 6656
Fax:0118 923 6657

Commercial

Tel: 0118 923 6652
Fax:0118 923 6655

Who do I contact with enquiries about land ownership?

For Council owned land, contact

property@richmond.gov.uk

For privately owned land contact

Telford District Land Registry
Parkside Court
Hall Park Way
Telford
Shropshire
TF3 4LR

Tel: 0300 006 0006
DX No: 28100 Telford (2)
www.landreg.gov.uk

Updated: 23 January 2015