Land Registry Privatisation

The government have proposed to privatise the HM Land Registry as part of its plan to raise capital. The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills argues that the Land Registry ‘could have more freedom in the private sector to continue to evolve into a high performing, innovative business, delivering for customers and the wider market in a 21st century, and digital economy’. However HM Land is entirely self-funding and has returned a significant dividend to HM Treasury in all but one of the last 20 years. In the year 2014-15 this amounted to £126m.


The plan to privatise the land registry can have severe long-term consequences. The integrity of land data that a public sector Land Registry provides directly underpins the confidence and stability of the property market and the wider economy. Privatisation could undermine confidence in Land Registry data. It is also possible that privatisation will jeopardise the service to homebuyers. Once in private hands, the Land Registry can no longer be used in the public interest to help tackle the housing crisis by assisting with the planning and regulation of future land use.


I tabled a question to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills but the question time ended before I was called. However BIS provided a written response: The question and answer is below:


Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the privatisation of the Land Registry on the effectiveness of its service.

Tabled on: 27 April 2016


Sajid Javid: I am pleased to say we are consulting on this very issue at the moment. We want to accelerate the transformation and digitisation of the Land Registry, improving the service it offers.

However, we would only proceed with any change if we were convinced it would provide a continued appropriate level of service.

The answer was submitted on 03 May 2016 at 17:48