Conveyancers vote for top 24 Local Land Charges teams in England and Wales 

13 February 2024

 

The top 24 Local Land Charges teams in England and Wales, as voted for by conveyancers and solicitors, have been revealed by Land Data, the authoritative land and property data expert, in its Local Land Charges Awards for Excellence shortlist.  

Licensed conveyancers and solicitors were asked to describe how teams went above and beyond expectations to turn around land and property searches quickly, efficiently, accurately, with a great attitude, and whilst providing excellent value for money. 

All nominations were collected, grouped by Local Authority and reviewed and ranked by the Excellence Awards judging panel. Search accuracy, overdue searches and volumes were also considered and weighted against the number of private dwellings within the Local Authority district. 

This year there are four categories for the Customer Satisfaction Award: one for District Councils, one for Unitary Councils, one for Metropolitan Districts and one for London Boroughs, offering more opportunities to celebrate outstanding customer service from local land charges teams.  

The winners of the Customer Satisfaction Awards, supported by The Coal Authority, will be announced at the 2024 Land Data Local Land Charges Awards for Excellence on 4th March 2024, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, East Midlands Airport. 

The top 24 finalists in alphabetical order are:  

Best in District Councils  

  • Arun District Council 
  • Ashford Borough Council 
  • Charnwood Borough Council 
  • East Suffolk Council 
  • Gravesham Borough Council 
  • Preston City Council 
  • Reigate & Banstead Borough Council 
  • Tendring District Council 
  • West Devon District Council 
  • West Lindsey District Council 

Best in Unitary Councils 

  • Cardiff Council 
  • Medway Council 
  • Nottingham City Council 
  • Swansea Council 

Best in Metropolitan Borough Councils 

  • Birmingham City Council 
  • Dudley Borough Council 
  • Gateshead Borough Council 
  • Sunderland City Council 
  • Wakefield Council  

Best in London Borough Councils   

  • Barnet London Borough  
  • Westminster City Council 
  • Croydon Council 
  • Harrow London Borough 
  • Hillingdon Council 

(See Notes to Editors for anonymous comments provided by solicitors and conveyancers to support the entry of each Local Authority.) 

Andrew Simpson, Head of Innovation Business Development at The Coal Authority, which supports the award, said: When conveyancers, solicitors and Local Land Charges teams work seamlessly together it results in residents moving home as quickly and smoothly as possible. Excellent customer service is an important element of this process, ensuring any problems are resolved swiftly and efficiencies are quickly acted on. The supporting comments received from conveyancers show how valued Local Land Charges teams are, and how many go above and beyond to deliver excellent customer service.”  

Fiona Barron, Chief Executive at Land Data, said: “Local Land Charge teams are specialists in their discipline, without their knowledge and expertise, the home moving sector simply couldn’t function! During these difficult times for Local Authorities, the level of diligence, customer service and commitment shown by these teams is exemplary. Their hard work thoroughly deserves to be recognised with these awards.” 

Since their launch in 2008, the annual Local Land Charges Awards for Excellence remain the only national awards celebrating the achievements and successes of Local Authority Local Land Charges departments across England and Wales. 

Six other awards will be presented on 4th March, including the Best Performing Local Land Charges Department, the Local Authority Searches Team of the Year, Best Performing Searches Team Member, Best Performing Migrated Local Authority and the Unsung Hero Award.  

-ends- 

Notes to Editors 
 

For further information please contact:  

Helen Desmond T: 07984 813831, E: helen.desmond@land-data.org.uk, www.land-data.org.uk 

 

The finalists with supporting, anonymous comments from conveyancers and solicitors: 

Best in District Councils  

  • Arun District Council  

“Arun District Council Land Charges Team are quite simply the best I have ever dealt with! They are very prompt, helpful, and apart from that, really lovely people to deal with! If we have a land charge entry that we need help with they are always there and quick to respond to us. Quite simply, I could not recommend them highly enough.” 

  • Ashford Borough Council 

“Searches come back quickly and copies of consents revealed are provided with the search free of charge. I have not dealt with a local authority that compares Karen and her team do a fantastic job and usually deal with specific enquiries the same day They are always a pleasure to deal with and would be worthy winners of the award!” 

  • Charnwood Borough Council 

“This Local Authority’s searches are always completed promptly and in line with any estimated turnaround times which means that the whole conveyancing process can be concluded quicker. I have also never needed to question the accuracy of any result.” 

  • East Suffolk Council 

“The Team at East Suffolk is always quick to reply to Personal Search Requests and there are very few occasions where results are not clear. On the odd occasion I've had to check an entry the reply is always very quick and detailed which is very useful and goes beyond expectations.” 

  • Gravesham Borough Council 

“I use the Local Land Charges team at Gravesham on a regular basis for local conveyancing purposes. The service I have received is impeccable. Any queries I have raised are dealt with promptly & professionally. The LLC Team have always treated me with courteous respect. There have also been times when they have gone above & beyond their usual service in helping my business when short & urgent deadlines have had to been met.” 

  • Preston City Council 

“The results are always returned in a timely manner. The team are friendly and always willing to assist, even if the query is not their department, they will always forward on and keep me updated. I deal mainly with Rowan (Land Charges) and Drew (CILs) both are friendly, approachable and efficient.” 

  • Reigate & Banstead Borough Council 

“For many years I have had to seek the assistance of Maggie and Lesley from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, and I can say without doubt that they do their utmost to be helpful and provide a terrific service in everything they do.” 

  • Tendring District Council 

“This Local Land Charges team delivers all local search results within 3 or 4 days ... they are a conveyancers dream!”  

  • West Devon District Council 

“I have been dealing with Claire Fryer for well over 20 years and she is my first port of call, even though we apply for searches via a third party. Without fail I always get a prompt response, usually with the right answer straight away, or at least a proper holding response. If not then I have never failed to have a substantive response far more quickly that I probably deserve! This makes a massive difference to my performance and I always explain to clients exactly how I have been able to deal with things quickly, because of our local land charges department.” 

  • West Lindsey District Council 

“The quality of the information provided is as good as we see anywhere. I cannot suggest anything that the LA could do better.” 

Best in Unitary Borough Councils 

  • Cardiff Council 

“Super-efficient and always returning searches at soled with accuracy” 

  • Medway Council 

“Fast turnaround time for LA searches, helpful in directing your call when telephoning and quick at replying to enquiries that need following up.” 

  • Nottingham City Council 

“We have dealt with Rowan and his team for many years and we always receive accurate results. Any queries by us are dealt with in a professional manner.” 

  • Swansea Council 

“The searches come back very quickly and if you need any assistance with the results of obtaining copy documents they are always quick to help. Excellent and friendly staff.” 

Best in Metropolitan Borough Councils  

  • Birmingham City Council 

“Great turnarounds!” 

  • Dudley Borough Council 

“When the local search request is submitted they always ring within 24 hours to take payment and the search result is received promptly. If there are any queries on the search result the staff are always friendly and willing to help.” 

  • Gateshead Borough Council 

“The Land Charges team are always helpful and friendly, ally that to very short turnaround times and that allows me to give the best possible service to my clients.” 

  • Sunderland City Council 

“Excellent in all areas. Helpful, friendly, efficient, fast turnaround time, available to speak to on the telephone and contactable by email. During Covid their service was still second to none.” 

  • Wakefield Council 

“Wakefield District Council consistently delivers exceptional service. Their search responses are not only timely but remarkably accurate, ensuring I have the precise information needed for informed decisions. Sue Dixon and the team members exhibit a commendable attitude, always approachable and eager to assist. Their willingness to go above and beyond is evident in every interaction, significantly enhancing the quality and efficiency of my work.” 

Best in London Borough Councils   

  • Barnet London Borough  

“Always excellent service, prompt in every way. Completely stress free on all sides. Payment is always easy, cannot fault the service. One of the top 10 councils in terms of turnaround time.” 

  • Westminster City Council 

“Efficient, friendly & speedy!” 

  • Croydon Council 

“Great customer service, timely service and generally excellent service.” 

  • Harrow London Borough 

“Claire is simply excellent. She always goes the extra mile.” 

  • Hillingdon Council 

“The whole team provide a quality service, polite friendly team who you can actually pick up the phone and talk to. Searches are delivered within a reasonable time and on time with accurate information. communication is first class with responses to emails prompt.” 

About NLIS   

The National Land Information Service (NLIS) was established in 2001 and is the only government-approved and regulated electronic land and property searches portal in the market. By using an NLIS licensed channel to order data, solicitors benefit from a faster, more efficient service, safe in the knowledge that the data is authoritative, fully indemnified and that the transaction has been conducted through a secure, protected and regulated electronic document and payment infrastructure. NLIS is the only wholly electronic service for ordering and receiving local authority searches covering every local authority in England and Wales, Land Registry, the Coal Authority and other sources of land and property information. 

 

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