COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Land charges and personal searches

Updates on changes to the Land Charges and personal searches due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

find out about changes

A personal search is an inspection of the Local Land Charges Register.

This can be carried out by anyone, but is usually carried out by private personal search companies/agencies.

Please note that a Personal Search does not provide all the information given on a full (LLC1 and CON 29R) search.

Personal Searches are not an Official Council Search, it is unrefined raw data which will require verification by the Search Company.

Con29R information is available free of charge from the originating departments whose contact details are below: 


COVID-19

Prior to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, personal search agents were able to view this council's local land charges register directly by physically attending at council offices, on an appointment basis.

Since March 2020, due to the lockdown and social distancing requirements, personal search agents currently receive answers to their search requests, by e-mail returns from the local land charges department. This has had an additional resource impact on the team, particularly as council staff are currently delivering their services from home.

In addition to this, personal search agents have also been receiving an enhanced service, as the returns include information from the council's planning register, which is a separate register to the local land charges register.  The planning register is already available on-line and directly accessible to the public.

The council has also seen an increase in search request numbers which appears to be directly linked to the current stamp duty freeze.

Due to all of the above considerations and best use of public resource, this council will no longer be providing an enhanced service of including information from the council's planning register in the e-mail returns.

As from Monday 1st February 2021, personal search agents will not receive any enhanced planning information, which is already available and directly accessible on-line on the council's website.

To access the on-line council planning register, this can be done directly at planning.welhat.gov.uk

Planning information and constraints are also displayed on our online community map.

Personal search agents will continue to receive the requested information from the local land charges register in an electronic format, until further notification.

You will be aware from previous correspondence, that this council is currently working with HM Land Registry (HMLR) , to transfer its land charges register to HMLR at a future date. From that date, a request for personal searches will be made directly to HMLR and you will be further notified of this, once a transfer date has been set by HMLR.


Building Control

For information relating to Building Control please use the portal on the Hertfordshire BC Website. There is a small charge for this service.

Highways information is only available from Hertfordshire County Council - please contact them direct using the following contact details:

Mrs Jolanta Duraj,
Hertfordshire County Council,
Register Office Building,
County Hall,
Hertford,
Herts 

Tel No. 01992 555199 
Fax No. 01992 588354
DX 145781 Hertford 4


Procedure

The Procedure for a personal search is as follows.

  • Normal opening hours for dealing with personal searches are 10 am - 12 noon everyday Monday to Friday.
  • Please note that there is a maximum of 6 addresses per appointment, in order to ensure fair access to all.
  • An appointment must be made by telephone, and you will be given the next available appointment.
  • An email confirming your appointment will need to be sent to locallandcharges@welhat.gov.uk in this email you will need to confirm the date, time and address/es you have booked in. An up to date location plan must also be sent outlining in red the area you wish us to search against.

If you have any enquiries regarding the information above, please contact:-

The Local Land Charges Department

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Council Offices
The Campus
Welwyn Garden City
Herts
AL8 6AE

DX 30075 WELWYN GARDEN CITY 1

Tel: 01707 357357 01707 357358 or 01707 357351

Email: locallandcharges@welhat.gov.uk

Fax: 01707 357475