Property Insights: Levelling up to require disclosure of land interests - Boodle Hatfield

Your lawyers since 1722

Article
04 Dec 2023

Property Insights: Levelling up to require disclosure of land interests

Written by

Andrew Wilmot-Smith View profile
2 min read

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023 became law at the end of October.  A substantial piece of legislation with a not terribly eye-catching title aimed at 'levelling up' and 'breathing new life into business and the regions across the UK'. 

Disclosure of land interests

The Act includes the outline detail of new 'Part 11 provisions' aimed at providing a 'clear line of sight' across a piece of land, allowing public bodies, including the Land Registry, access to information (including transactional documents) setting out who owns, controls or has an interest in land.  

The information that may be requested within these provisions may be used for a range of purposes including, but not limited to:

  • Beneficial ownership purpose: Identifying attempts to evade or avoid the disclosure requirements set out in the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 including the requirements for overseas entities owning UK land to register at Companies House.
  • Contractual control purpose: Promoting greater land transparency by the publication of data such as conditional contracts, pre-emptions and options that may be used by developers to control land.
  • National security purpose: Other uses described as 'wider national security and macro-economic purposes'.

The requirement to provide information will be enforced by measures that will prevent landowners from registering changes to the Land Registry title registers where required information has not been provided.  Failure to provide required information will be a criminal offence.  

Further information will be provided in the form of as yet unpublished regulations.  It is likely that these measures will impact significantly on the ability of land owners and contracting parties to keep transactional information confidential including by means of current well established practices such as the use of Land Registry exempt information documents and unilateral notices.

Want to know more? 

In our Autumn/Winter edition of Property Insights our team of experts shine a spotlight on new legal developments and offer some insights on issues that are currently shaping the property market. In this edition we look at what the King’s speech outlined in the areas of enfranchisement and residential development, new legislation aimed at ‘levelling up’ and ‘breathing new life into business and the regions across the UK’, the current state of play with Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), how the Autumn statement brought support for entrepreneurs, updates on the Building Safety Act and finally, the factors that are propelling the surge in private debt within the UK’s real estate sector. Access the bulletin here.

Written by