Information Commissioner Office finds against Stoke City Council for fees for conveyancing information.

Conveyancing in Stoke may get cheaper in light of the Information Commissioner Office  decision that Stoke City Council had been wrong to refuse requests to inspect information and instead seek to charge for providing copies of the information under the Local Authorities (England) (Charges for Property Searches) Regulations 2008

The complainant had made a request to inspect the building control and traffic schemes information within 200 metres of a named address. Such information is required in the Local Authority Search (one of the conveyancing searches in the conveyancing process) Stoke City Council refused to grant inspection of the information stating that as the information was available through the completion of a standard search form (CON29) and on payment of a fee based on the property search regulations, regulation 6(1)(b) removed the need to comply with regulation 5(1).

The Information Commissioner Office investigated and found that the request is a request to inspect environmental information but that the Council cannot use regulation 6(1)(b) to refuse the request to inspect the information. Stoke City Council should have made the information available for inspection in accordance with regulation 5(1) within 35 calendar days of this notice. The conveyancing in Stoke team look forward to the implications of this decision on future conveyancing transactions.

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