Growing pressure on Osborne to drop Land Registry privatisation

In 2015, the Government announced that it would again launch a consultation into the privatisation of the Land Registry. Those who have owned a home will be familiar with the services the Land Registry offer. For those who haven’t purchased a property, they provide a state guarantee of land ownership to legally confirm the land is yours.

Growing pressure on Osborne to drop Land Registry privatisation

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The move to privatise the Land Registry was first suggested in 2014, where it met stiff opposition across the board, from a #timber frame construction company through to high-profile property investors and also the business secretary at the time.

Now in 2016, as this subject resurfaces, concerns are spreading around the industry that we could be on the verge of a public scandal.


The British Property Federation has warned that rushing into a deal could be catastrophic. The PCS Union’s Land Registry group has also raised concerns over the proposal, and hopes that the outcome is an opposing majority.

The major concern for the public, as well as organisations such as timber frame construction company, is that not only will the privatisation of the Land Registry hinder its effectiveness, but it could lead to overseas buyers using unregistered land to profit from fraudulent activities. As a private company, the Land Registry would not be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and therefore would not need to make its records public.

Public opinion

The current consultation ran from the 24th March until 26th May and all of the feedback is being assessed and compiled. Almost 300,000 people have signed a petition addressed to George Osborne, the current Chancellor, opposing the proposal and putting pressure on him to intervene.

They say that if a private company acquires the Land Registry, that company will only care about profiting from it. This could mean a rise in prices or a fall in standards, which could seriously affect property investors, construction companies and the public when it comes to purchasing property.

One thing is certain, the Land Registry needs funding. However, it’s clear that the majority believes privatisation is not the answer. It remains to be seen whether enough people registered their concern, whether the Chancellor be swayed by the growing petition, or whether we see a privatised Land Registry in 2017.

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