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We’re helping the London Borough of Haringey get ready for the new national land charges service by making data cleansing fast and easy.

Local land charges programmes takes shape

HM Land Registry is working with local authorities in England and Wales to move information from local land charges (LLC) registers to a new central service. LLC searches tell buyers what restrictions might apply to a property, for example planning permissions or listed building consents. The goal of the new national service is to speed up these searches and reduce their cost.

Local authorities are moving across in phases, and we’re helping Haringey get ready for their move by the end of 2021. One of the biggest challenges facing land charges teams is getting their data ready for the migration. So firstly, we provided a series of reports that they could run against our Land Charges software.

These easy-to-use reports show at a glance which data fields have missing entries. For
example, registrations that are not plotted, that have no registered date or have no site address. This meant Haringey could get an early view of what needed fixing and do some preparation.

Once Haringey started their transition programme, the HMLR sent more detail about the data that needed to be fixed. We provided a data transformation tool to automate the bulk of the changes needed. In one instance, we were able to fix 17,000 records that had no site address/location detail. This left a much smaller number of records to be manually reviewed.

“Preparation is key, so the reports NEC provided were great because they gave us a head start on data cleansing. And now our data transformation tool is live, I’ve completed tasks in hours that would have taken me months.”

Jonathan Unger, Local Land Charges and Property Gazetteer Manager, London Borough of Haringey

Testing the connection to HMLR

The next phase involved testing the API, the tool that would automate the connection between Haringey’s systems and HM Land Registry. We successfully went live with Haringey’s test site in April 2021. This proved a solid connection between the national and local systems and also helped Jonathan’s team get ready for further improvements:

“Being upgraded to the latest version makes all sorts of tasks, like updating categories, far easier. My advice to authorities in the next phase is to start data cleansing as early as you can. NEC has certainly made that process easier for us.”

Find out more about Land Charges