Land charges

What is a Local Land Charge?

Local Land Charges were the creation of the Local Land Charges Act 1925 which was subsequently added to by the Local Land Charges Act 1975 and aims to protect buyers of the land from being caught out by obligations against them by Local Authorities under various statutes.

A local land charge is restriction on a particular parcel of land, whether to secure the payment of a sum of money, or limiting the use to which the land may be put, and is binding on successive owners or occupiers of that parcel of land.

These restrictions would not normally be shown on your deeds therefore your solicitor would perform a Local Authority Search as part of your conveyancing when you buy or re-mortgage your property to highlight any of these charges.

Why is a Local Land Charges search performed?

Buying a house can be a complicated process. Here we have set out how we can help to make it as straightforward as possible and have provided some contacts to sources of information that you might find helpful.

When you buy a house (or perhaps land) you usually go through a number of checks to make sure there are no problems with the property that would result in a charge being sought from yourself as the owner.

As part of one of those checks it is normal to have a local land charges search undertaken. This is normally organised by your solicitor or licensed conveyancer on your behalf but can also be carried out yourself.

Depending on what questions have been asked the local land charges search will amongst other things identify :

  • The planning history of the site and any queries arising over its use

  • The planning policies which affect the site

  • Any developments directly affecting the site.

  • And any Local Land Charge that would restrict use or could result in a charge being directed at the new owner of the property.