NLIS celebrates its 21st birthday with 26 million searches!

11 April 2022

All 7 NLIS channel partners sign contracts for next 2 years 

21 years ago today local authorities began to revolutionise the way they respond to search requests thanks to the launch of the National Land Information Service (NLIS) - an organisation set up at the request of government in 2001 to bring the local land charge sector online, making the homebuying process quicker and smoother.  

Over the past 21 years the NLIS ‘Hub’, the platform which provides a single point of electronic access to every local authority in England and Wales, as well as HM Land Registry, the Coal Authority and others, has processed over 26 million conveyancing searches.  
The arrival of NLIS meant that search requests from conveyancers and solicitors, which were previously made by phone, post, DX or fax, were made electronically, resulting in a quicker, secure response, and a more seamless process with less administration. 

Whilst the NLIS Hub isn’t the only method of carrying out land and property searches, it is the only one agreed upon between central and local government, regulated by Land Data, and which includes data from every local authority in England and Wales. 

Crucially, all searches carried out through the Hub are ‘authoritative searches’, using data from source, ensuring its provenance, value and giving homebuyers (and their solicitors) the reassurance they need. 

Land Data, the NLIS regulator, is also announcing today that it has signed contracts with all seven NLIS channel partners for the next two years - the organisations via whom conveyancers and solicitors request searches. This is the highest number of channels in NLIS history, representing a significant share of the overall land and property search market.   

Jan Boothroyd was appointed in 2001 to lead the roll out of NLIS across English and Welsh local authorities. She said:  

“NLIS has come of age and is as valuable now as it was 21 years ago, offering local authorities a trusted partner in the delivery of land and property searches. Much has changed since the launch of NLIS, but the role which land charge officers play in keeping the homebuying market moving is as crucial as ever.”  

Thelma Stober, Head of Legal and Company Secretary at the Local Government Association said:     

“Our local land charge officers are the unsung heroes of the home buying market – sourcing and interpreting the vital data homebuyers need to make the right purchase. NLIS has played a central role in the digital transformation of land and property searches, streamlining processes and allowing conveyancers to access land and property data at source.” 

Nick Dyoss, the NLIS Hub Director, said:  

It is great news that we have renewed our seven channel contracts to 2024, enabling us to continue providing our unique service to conveyancers from across the UK - connecting them to every local authority in England and Wales. The NLIS channel network is the largest it’s ever been and remains the safest and most secure hub on the market, offering the highest standards of electronic property search accessibility available today.” 


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