The Council of Property Search Organisations (CoPSO) has requested the government to consult on legislation which requires local authorities to provide open and free access to property information.
Councils are apparently restricting access to their information records which leads to problems when undertaking personal searches. At present individuals have access to the public register but not all councils will also access to all the information that is needs to complete a CON29 form.
A survey of the members of CoPSA say that 1 in 5 councils allow full access to their records.
Paul Marsh, Law Society lead spokesman on property, said: ‘Solicitors want accurate authoritative information. We don’t mind who we get it from, so long as we get it quickly. ’
There is very little guidance on this area and for this reason the position must be made clear in the form of coherent legislation as councils cannot continue to take an ad hoc approach to this and allow access to information in such an inconsistent way.