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Land Registry set to hike fees

Land Registry is proposing to increase fees to plug its deficit.

It forecasts fee income of £299.2m for the 12 months to March 31 2009, due to the decline in property transactions. This is a 38% fall from the £482.9m it reported for 2007/08, and a result of its current operating loss.

From July 6, fees for registering properties will increase by between £10 and £220, depending on the property value

This means that the cost of registering a £100,000 property will increase from £100 to £130, while the fee for a property worth £1m will increase from £420 to £550.

Fees for providing information, such as official searches and copies, will also rise by between £1 and £6. For example, the fee for a postal official search will increase from £6 to £8, while a request for the official paper copy of a lease will be charged at £24 instead of £20.

Finance director Heather Foster says: "A range of measures has already been taken to cut costs including a voluntary redundancy scheme and an accelerated plan to merge offices. Whilst these measures have helped to keep increases as small as possible, an increase is unavoidable and will mean for an average priced property of £153,000, the increase is £50."

She adds: "We do not believe this will be a deterrent to market recovery, especially in the context of interest rates at historically low levels and lower house prices."

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