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By LGCnet political correspondent Robert Hedley ...
By LGCnet political correspondent Robert Hedley

The Law Commission's single largest law reform project moved closer to becoming law when the Land Registration Bill was considered at report stage without a division. Peers approved a series of technical amendments.

The Bill will impact on the millions of people who buy and sell property in England and Wales each year and, according to lord chancellor Irvine, it is the culmination of the long process through which land registration has become the primary means of recording and guaranteeing title to land.

The Bill, which will wholly replace the Land Registration Act 1925, introduces a framework for electronic conveyancing through minor alterations in current law.

All registered titles and the millions of supporting documents will be in computerised form by the end of 2003. A significant development will come soon when the new National Land Information Service will provide a single electronic point of access toalmost all the information, from a wide variety of sources, which conveyancers need.

The scope of compulsory registration will be increased, expecially by bringing most leases and, therefore, most commercial property transactions within the reach of the new measure.

The lord chancellor's department believes procedures protecting the rights of third parties over land will be simplified and strengthened. The protection which registration offers to land or property owners against squatters will be strengthened and improved.

Hansard 30 Oct: Column 1301-1390

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