Help to Buy

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced that in the first ten months following implementation of the government’s “Help to Buy” scheme there were 25,247 reservations and 14,823 completed sales in relation to new build properties. There have also been 6,000 reservations made under the Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee (details of which can be found here) which applies to both new build and existing properties.

Land Registry Practice Guide Update

The Land Registry has updated its Practice Guide 12 to confirm that the result of an Official Priority Search (OS1 or OS2) will reveal any adverse entries which have been made since the beginning of the search from date. The change has resulted from the fact that the Land Registration Rules 2003 (Part 3 of Schedule 6) refer to the search result revealing any entries made since the end of the search from date. The amendment of the Practice Guide was prompted by my colleague Simon Boyes of Eversheds’ Property & Projects team, who identified the discrepancy and then notified the Land Registry’s departmental lawyers. The change to the Practice Guide confirms that Land Registry’s Practice differs from the approach set out in the Land Registration Rules, and an amendment to the Rules will be considered in due course.

Land Registry Property Alert Service

The Land Registry has been piloting a free online “Property Alert” service, which went live on 5 March 2014. The service enables a property owner to sign up to receive an e-mail “alert” every time that an application or official search is made in relation to their property’s title. The system allows the individual to have up to three properties monitored, and is designed to act as a counter fraud measure. The service will provide an early warning of potentially suspicious activity, and allows a property owner to take immediate action if something happens to their property which they are not expecting. Full details can be found at the Land Registry’s website here.

Green Deal

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed that capital funding will be made available for community Green Deal schemes. The DECC is inviting local authorities to present “ambitious and innovative street/area proposals for funding” in relation to the Green Deal. This may lead to community initiatives to implement Green Deal improvements in particular streets/areas, and a number of local authorities (including Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and six London Borough Councils) have already received support for their proposals. This ties in with the continuing efforts being made by the DECC to encourage increased participation with the Green Deal scheme, and further details can be found on the DECC website.