hm land registry fees
UK Property News

HM Land Registry Fees | Costs for Property Transactions

Did you know that HM Land Registry issued around 141,000 written and telephone requisitions related to fees in 2023, highlighting the critical importance of accurately calculating these charges? As a non-ministerial government department responsible for maintaining the register of land and property ownership in England and Wales, HM Land Registry plays a pivotal role in the conveyancing process. When a property transaction takes place, such as a purchase, remortgage or transfer of equity, a fee is payable to HM Land Registry to update the title deeds and record the changes. These HM Land Registry Fees, set out in secondary legislation, cover the costs of providing this essential service.

Accurate calculation of the correct HM Land Registry Fee is a crucial part of the conveyancing process, ensuring a smooth and efficient property transaction. Whether you’re buying, selling, or remortgaging a home, understanding the various land registry disbursements, property registration costs, and conveyancing fees is essential to navigating the complexities of the UK property market.

Understanding HM Land Registry Fees

HM Land Registry Fees are the charges payable to HM Land Registry to update the property ownership register following a transaction. These fees cover the administrative costs of processing applications, maintaining the register and providing access to property information. The fees are set out in the HM Land Registry Fee Order, which is secondary legislation. The fees vary depending on the type of transaction and the value of the property.

What are HM Land Registry Fees?

HM Land Registry Fees are the charges payable to HM Land Registry to update the property ownership register following a transaction. These fees cover the administrative costs of processing applications, maintaining the register and providing access to property information. The fees are set out in the HM Land Registry Fee Order, which is secondary legislation. The fees vary depending on the type of transaction and the value of the property.

When are HM Land Registry Fees Payable?

HM Land Registry Fees are payable when a property transaction takes place that requires a change to be made to the register of title. This includes purchases, remortgages, transfers of equity and the registration of new leases. The fees are usually paid by the applicant as part of the conveyancing process, prior to the application being submitted to HM Land Registry. It is important that the correct fee is calculated and paid to avoid delays in the registration process.

Importance of Accurate Fee Calculations

Calculating the correct HM Land Registry Fee is crucial to ensure a smooth and efficient property transaction. Inaccurate fee calculations can lead to requisitions (requests for more information) from HM Land Registry, causing delays and potentially incurring additional costs. In 2023, HM Land Registry issued around 141,000 written and telephone requisitions related to fees, highlighting the importance of getting the fee calculation right. Conveyancers and property professionals must be familiar with the HM Land Registry Fee structure and the factors that determine the applicable fee.

Scale 1 Fees

The HM Land Registry’s Scale 1 Fees apply to a range of property transactions, including first registrations, transfers of registered land for monetary consideration, and the registration of leases and surrenders. The fee is calculated based on the value or amount of the transaction, with different rates applicable for applications submitted by post, through the HM Land Registry portal or Business Gateway.

Transactions under Scale 1

For example, the fee for a property purchase valued at £575,000 would be £330 when applying by post, or £150 when applying through the portal or Business Gateway. This demonstrates the scale 1 hm land registry fees and the varying rates based on the submission method for these property transaction fees.

Fee Reductions for Scale 1

HM Land Registry offers fee reductions for certain transactions under Scale 1. Voluntary first registrations, where the application is based on adverse possession or lost deeds, are eligible for a minimum 25% reduction in the fee. Additionally, transfers of the whole of a registered title and surrenders of the whole of a registered title are subject to a 55% reduction in the fee when applying through the HM Land Registry portal or Business Gateway, compared to postal applications. These scale 1 hm land registry fee reductions can provide significant savings for eligible property transactions.

scale 1 hm land registry fees

Scale 2 Fees

Scale 2 Fees apply to a different set of property transactions, including transfers or assents of registered estates not for monetary consideration, transfers of registered charges, charges of registered estates, and surrenders of leases not for monetary consideration. The fee is calculated based on the value of the transaction, with different rates for applications submitted by post, through the HM Land Registry portal or Business Gateway. For example, the fee for a transfer of a registered estate valued at £200,000 would be £70 when applying through the portal or Business Gateway.

Transactions under Scale 2

Transactions that fall under Scale 2 Fees include transfers or assents of registered estates not for monetary consideration, transfers of registered charges, charges of registered estates, and surrenders of leases not for monetary consideration. These fees are determined by the value of the transaction, with varying rates depending on the submission method – post, HM Land Registry portal, or Business Gateway.

Fee Reductions for Scale 2

HM Land Registry offers fee reductions for certain transactions under Scale 2 when applying through the portal or Business Gateway. These reduced fees apply to transfers or assents of the whole of a registered estate, charges of the whole of a registered estate, and transfers of charges. However, there are no fee reductions for transfers of part or other applications affecting part of a registered title, even when using the portal or Business Gateway.

Modernising the Fee Structure

HM Land Registry’s current fees and charging structure is complex and has not been significantly revised since its introduction over 160 years ago. This often leads to

incorrect fee payments, with HM Land Registry issuing around 141,000 written and telephone requisitions (requests for more information or clarification) related to fees in 2023. This caused delays in the application process. The complexity of the current structure is a common concern among customers, who have expressed a need for a simpler and more transparent approach to HM Land Registry fees.

Challenges with the Current Structure

The challenges with the current HM Land Registry fee structure include its complexity, the high number of requisitions, and negative customer feedback. The outdated and convoluted nature of the fees has led to difficulties in calculating the correct amounts, causing delays and administrative burdens for both customers and the organisation.

Proposed Simplifications

In response to customer feedback, HM Land Registry is exploring ways to modernise and simplify its fee structure. This could involve introducing a single fee for a property transaction event, rather than charging for individual services. Alternatively, the organisation is considering standard flat fees or scaled fees based on the nature and value of the transaction. The aim is to create a more user-friendly and efficient fee structure that reduces the administrative burden and provides greater transparency for customers.

Ensuring Fair and Reasonable Fees

As part of the review of its fees and charging structure, HM Land Registry is considering whether fair and reasonable hm land registry fees should be set differently for specific customer groups, such as individuals, second homeowners, and businesses. This approach could involve higher fees for certain segments, while potentially offering lower fees for individual homeowners. The organisation is seeking feedback on which groups or services should be prioritised in terms of fair and reasonable fees, in order to ensure an equitable approach that supports its overall objectives.

Balancing Access and Cost Recovery

HM Land Registry is also exploring how to balance the access and cost recovery hm land registry fees, in support of the government’s data transparency agenda, while also recovering its operating efficiencies. The organisation is considering the potential risks, opportunities and barriers associated with making its data more open and available, while ensuring that its fees remain fair and reasonable for customers. This will involve finding the right equilibrium between facilitating data access and maintaining financial sustainability.

fair and reasonable hm land registry fees

Conclusion

HM Land Registry is undertaking a comprehensive review of its fees and charging structure, responding to valuable customer feedback and the need to support the government’s wider property market and data transparency objectives. The current complex and outdated fee structure has led to challenges, such as incorrect fee payments and administrative delays. By modernising and simplifying the fees, HM Land Registry aims to create a more user-friendly and efficient system that ensures fair and reasonable charges for all its customers, while also enabling greater access to land and property data.

The organisation is seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders to help shape the future of its fees and charging framework. This collaborative approach will ensure that the modernised fee structure addresses the needs of individual homeowners, second homeowners, businesses, and other key customer groups, striking a fair balance between accessibility and cost recovery.

As HM Land Registry embarks on this pivotal transformation, its commitment to delivering a simplified, transparent, and equitable fees system will significantly benefit the UK property market and the millions of individuals and organisations who rely on its services. This modernisation effort will help streamline the conveyancing process, reduce administrative hurdles, and provide greater clarity for all those involved in property transactions.

FAQ

What are HM Land Registry Fees?

HM Land Registry Fees are the charges payable to HM Land Registry to update the property ownership register following a transaction. These fees cover the administrative costs of processing applications, maintaining the register and providing access to property information.

When are HM Land Registry Fees Payable?

HM Land Registry Fees are payable when a property transaction takes place that requires a change to be made to the register of title. This includes purchases, remortgages, transfers of equity and the registration of new leases.

Why is Accurate Fee Calculation Important?

Calculating the correct HM Land Registry Fee is crucial to ensure a smooth and efficient property transaction. Inaccurate fee calculations can lead to requisitions (requests for more information) from HM Land Registry, causing delays and potentially incurring additional costs.

How are Fees Calculated for First Registrations?

The fees for first registrations of property with HM Land Registry vary depending on the nature of the transaction. For voluntary first registrations, such as those based on adverse possession or lost deeds, the fee is reduced by a minimum of 25%. However, first registrations of rentcharges are subject to a flat £40 fee.

How are Fees Calculated for Transfers of Registered Land?

When a transfer of registered land takes place for monetary consideration, the HM Land Registry Fee is calculated based on the purchase price or consideration. This includes transfers that give effect to the disposition of shares in registered estates.

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