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Home > Housing & Private Property > Land Charges & Property Searches

Local land charges

Last Modified October 19, 2015

Local Land Charges Q&A

What is the purpose of a Local Authority Search?


The main purpose of a local search is to protect property buyers from any unpleasant eventualities that could affect their use and enjoyment of the property or which may have an effect upon its value (for purchaser and potential lender) and therefore, is a key element in the conveyancing process. The local search will provide information that is designed to reveal any potential problems or issues with the property and the surrounding area, which enables the buyer to make an informed decision on the current state of the property. The local search is essentially designed to provide important information that would potentially influence the use, the renting out or future reselling of the property.

What will the Local Authority Search Reveal?

 A “standard” local authority search is comprised of an LLC1 (request for a search of the Local Land Charges Register) plus a CON29 questionnaire. A search with extra questions comprises of an LLC1 plus CON29 questionnaire as well as some or all of the CON29O optional questions.                                

LLC1 The Official Certificate of Search

This reveals the entries on the Local Land Charges Register. This would include (if applicable to the property):

  • Tree preservation orders
  • Listed buildings status
  • Conservation areas since 1974
  • Smoke control areas
  • Conditional planning permissions
  • Community Infrastructure Levy charges
  • Article 4 Directions
  • Financial charges registered against the property
  • Planning Enforcement Notices

CON29 The Enquiries of Local Authorities Form

This includes:

  • Planning history
  • Building control regulations
  • Highway information (including road scheme proposals)
  • Proposed tree preservation orders
  • Proposed planning enforcement or breach of condition notices
  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
  • Assets of community value
  • Rail schemes and proposals
  • Public footpaths shown on definitive maps                               

CON290 The Optional Enquiries of Local Authorities Form

This includes:

  • Gas pipelines
  • Common land enquiries
  • Flood defences and land drainage consents


Types of Search


There are two types of search - an official search and a personal search (or a regulated search as some companies are now referring to them). 

What is the difference between an Official Search and a Personal or Regulated Search?


Local authorities maintain a large amount of data relating to properties in their area and searches of these records (often called "Local Authority Searches") provide fundamental information, essential to the home buyer.

Some of this information can be found on a register known as the Local Land Charges Register which is maintained by the officers in the Local Land Charges Team.

An official Local Authority Search is carried out by these same officers using this data and their own local knowledge.  

A personal search is carried out by an agent who comes into the council offices and inspects the register for free or pays a small fee to view a copy of the register online. The personal search agent then interprets that information to form their own search. This information has not been checked and verified by a Council Officer.

Why choose an Official Search


Anyone can carry out a personal or regulated search of the Land Charges Register for free and obtain most of the information from the public registers, maps and index sheet. However the data is in its raw state and may contain errors. Therefore we would always advise obtaining an official search which has been checked and verified by an experienced Local Land Charges Officer.

Please be aware that If you do choose a personal search, the council will not be responsible for answering any queries which you, your Solicitor, or agent may have relating to that search. Like wise if the results are incorrect, the council will not be responsible for correcting or amending them. Please refer any queries back to your solicitor or the search company who were instructed to carry out the search. It is their responsibility

Submitting Searches


We accept searches by post or via our Public Access System. Unfortunately we are no longer able to accept searches via email.

For further details see Electronic Searches - Public Access for Land Charges (PALC) or Postal Searches.

Electronic Searches - Public Access for Land Charges (PALC)


All electronic searches must now be submitted view our Public Access System (PALC).

PALC provides a totally electronic official search service, connecting users directly to land and property information held by Hertsmere Borough Council.

You can start submitting searches straight away by clicking on the link below:

Public Access System

All you need to do is register. Payment will be taken by credit or debit card the same system.

Public Access Land Charges offers users the following advantages:

Direct Access

  • From any web browser direct to and from the Local Land Charges team
  • No third party go-betweens
  • No add-on transaction fees.


  • Intelligent web forms
  • Step by step process captures correct information
  • Pick addresses from the Council's central database
  • Upload a scanned plan of the extent - no online drawing
  • Get downloadable response document.


  • No paper
  • No printing
  • No post


The system is really simple and easy to use but Guidance Notes are available upon request should you need them. Please email land.charges@hertsmere.gov.uk

Please ensure you upload one copy of a plan (preferably an Ordnance Survey extract) showing the full extent of the area to be searched upon edged in red.

Please note:  We are unable to cancel searches, or provide refunds, once requests have been uploaded to our system.  

Postal Searches

You can submit hard copy searches via post or DX however please note the fee for this type of search has increased due to the amount of work now involved in processing them.

Searches should be sent to our Local Land Charges Department at our main offices, by DX45602 Borehamwood.

Please note:  We are unable to cancel searches, or provide refunds, once requests have been uploaded to our system.  

Fees & Charges

Fees are set on a cost recovery basis.

Fees & Charges 2018-2019

How long does it take?

 We aim to return all searches within seven working days.

Unfortunately we do not offer an expedited services due to us relying on other departments to reply to enquiries. However we will always do our best to try and help. If your search requires urgent attention, please contact us and we will see what we can do.

Email: Land.charges@hertsmere.gov.uk or Telephone: 020 8207 7491

Inspection of the Local Land Charges register (Personal Searches)

Personal searches are by appointment only.

If you wish to undertake a personal search of the Local Land Charges Register you will need to book an appointment with us. Personal searches requests are processed the same as Official Search requests so lead times will be the same. See above.

Submitting a request:

  • We will need the name of the person or company who will be undertaking the search.
  • A correct and clear address of the property or land to be searched against.
  • One copy of a plan (preferably an Ordnance Survey extract) showing the full extent of the area to be searched upon edged in red. Please ensure the plan clearly defines the boundaries of the area to be searched upon and any highways on which replies are sought.
  • We will attempt to accommodate all requests made but we ask that you are aware that we may not always be able to provide you with your preferred appointment time.


Collecting results:

You will be able to collect results during the allocated times and days below only:

  • Tuesday: 10am to 11.30am and 2pm to 4pm
  • Wednesday: 10am to 11.30am
  • Thursday: 10am to 11.30am and 2pm to 4pm
  • Friday: 10am to 11.30am


Please queue in reception to see a Customer Service Advisor during the time slot you have been allocated. I.e. Tuesday, anytime between 10am to 11.30am.

A Customer Service Advisor will then give you the information to copy before handing back.

It is strictly prohibited for you to photograph or scan the information provided to you at an appointment. Further action may be taken should we discover information being copied without our permission.

Please ensure that you are on time for any appointment time allocated. Late arrival can result in us having to re-arrange the appointment. This is due to the impact on other personal search appointments and customers.

There is limit of three addresses per appointment; per agent.

Please note:

An inspection of the Local Land Charges Register is free under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) but these regulations only give you the right to inspect the base records, they do not entitle you to have the information verified or checked.

  • the base information you are viewing may contain errors.
  • If you wish to inspect base records in respect of CON29R enquiries under EIR, you will need to contact the individual council department involved ie - building control, planning and environmental health. An appointment may be necessary and it cannot be guaranteed that the same appointment time will be possible for all departments.


We are not HM Land Registry


HM Land Registry provides the Legal Evidence of Title to the land that has been registered in England and Wales. The Title Plan shows, usually by red edging, the general extent of the property registered under the title number shown. Title plans are prepared on the latest Ordnance Survey map available at the time of registration. The plan does not normally show who owns boundary features, such as fences and hedges.

The Title Register contains the details relating to the property. Each title register is in three parts:

Property register

A description of the property and any rights that may benefit the property.

Proprietorship register

Who owns the property and any restrictions upon their power to deal with the property

Charges register

Further information such as mortgages or rights that may adversely affect the property.

More information on the above and on other searches offered by HM Land Registry can be found here



Meet you Local Land Charges Team

Your Local Land Charges Team is Jade Reynolds & Jackie Emerton 

If you have any questions or require any help, please contact us:

Email: land.charges@hertsmere.gov.uk

Telephone: 020 8207 7491

We are only a small team so if your call goes to answerphone, please leave a message or send an email and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Other contacts

For drainage enquiries contact Thames Water  
For highways enquiries contact Hertfordshire Highways
For land registry enquiries contact Land Registry

Related External Links

  1. National Land Information Service

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