Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirtieth Report


APPENDIX 1

Memorandum by the Lord Chancellor's Department

LAND REGISTRATION FEES ORDER 1999 (S.I. 1999/2254)

    The Lord Chancellor's Department submits this memorandum in response to the request dated 27 October 1999 on the point set out below.

    Paragraphs (2) and (3) of the Explanatory Note specify, as changes effected by the Order, the fee level of £40 fixed by paragraph (1) of Part I of Schedule 3 and the fee levels of £2 and £3 fixed by paragraph (1) of Part II of that Schedule. Indicate the services and amounts provided for in the 1998 Order which these items replace and the reasons for the changes in amounts.

The Land Registry advise as follows:

  1. Paragraph (1) of Part I of Schedule 3 to the Order replaces paragraph (1) of Part I of Schedule 3 to the 1998 Order. The latter paragraph set the fee for the registration or modification of a caution, restriction, notice, inhibition or note at £40 for the first title affected and £20 for each subsequent title affected.

  2. The Land Registry's experience was that, although the majority of applications to which the paragraph applied affected only a single title, it was common in those cases where two or more titles were affected for a single fee of £40 to be lodged and for the additional £20 fee or fees to be overlooked. In such cases, the Land Registry then had to write to the applicant for the extra fee. That caused the applicant inconvenience, because completion of the application was delayed. It also increased the cost to the Land Registry of dealing with the application.

  3. The new paragraph (1) of Part I of Schedule 3 is intended to prevent this problem occurring in cases where the application affects up to three titles. It is rare for applications of the kind to which the paragraph relates to affect more than three titles. Where an application does affect more that three titles, however, an additional fee of £20 remains payable for each subsequent title because of the additional cost to the Land Registry of dealing with the application.

  4. A further reason for the change to paragraph (1) of Part I of Schedule 3 concerns easements, such as rights of way. They may be protected on the register by notice. The amendment is intended to encourage proprietors of registered land with the benefit of an easement over other registered land to apply for the burden of that right to be entered on the register of that other land, and not just for the benefit of the right to be entered on his own title. Under the new paragraph it will cost no more to apply against both titles than against only one of them. This will lead to a more complete register.

  5. Paragraph (1) of Part II of Schedule 3 to the Order replaces paragraph (1) of Part II of Schedule 3 to the 1998 Order. The latter paragraph provided for a fee of £2 to be payable for the inspection and copying of the register or any part of the register when a person gained access to the Land Registry's computer system by means of that person's remote terminal. The change has been made because a new service is to be introduced under which it will be possible to gain access in this way not only to the register but also to certain documents referred to in the register and to the title plan. The fee for access to, and the copying of, the register remains unchanged, and the same fee is payable in relation to access to, and the copying of, documents using this service. The fee for access to, and the copying of, the title plan is £1 higher. This is because each time a user has access to a title plan using this service, the Land Registry will be required to pay a fee of £1 to the Ordnance Survey.

29 October 1999


 
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Prepared 30 November 1999