HBSG sets up working party to address property logbooks

The Home Buying & Selling Group (HBSG) has set up a working party to look specifically into the issue of property logbooks.

The group revealed it is addressing how to provide this in a standard, secure way, as well as how to incorporate it into new online processes being developed by the property industry.

The announcement comes at a time when all property records are being digitised with many turned into publicly-available, online references. However, the HBSG suggested data is still “highly fragmented and unevenly distributed”, with no standardised way of ensuring continuity between property transactions.

A group of residential property logbook companies, who were already HBSG participants, were tasked with establishing a basis on which digital records of property information could be used for home buying and selling, as well as any other residential property related transaction. The companies involved include Chimni, Etive, PIP and the National Deeds Depository.

Chimni managing director, Nigel Walley, who is chairing the group, commented: “Property records are increasingly being digitised which is a great opportunity to improve access and sharing of information.

“However, data is still highly fragmented and unevenly distributed, with no standardised way of sharing electronically or ensuring continuity of data between property transactions. We believe residential logbooks can deliver this.”

Conveyancing Association director of delivery, Beth Rudolf, added: “Prior to lockdown, transaction times could be as much as 20 weeks after an offer had been accepted and the risk of a transaction falling through was around 34%.

“There is simply not enough resource in the industry to support this amount of waste, let alone the poor consumer outcomes highlighted by Government research and the Competition and Markets Authority report into mis-selling of leasehold property.

“We know that instructing a property lawyer on listing and providing all information upfront results in average transaction times of just six-eight weeks in other parts of the UK. Making property logbooks the norm will make it incredibly straight forward for homeowners to collate and update information during their ownership.”

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