Memorandum by NLIS (National Land Information
Service) Searchflow (DHB 27)
NLIS Searchflow is a government licensed channel
in the National Land Information Service (NLIS).
Searchflow is a service that facilitates the
home buying and selling process through electronic provision of
searches. It achieves greater efficiency and certainty than traditional
methods by harnessing service-relevant technology.
The Searchflow Board are supportive of the proposal
to bring in HIPs and consider they will do a great deal to improve
house buying and selling for the public. However HIPs will only
work properly if the information which is to be contained within
the HIP is easily accessible to the public and is of a high quality
A key part of the information for the HIP is
provided by local searches. We appreciate that this might not
be seen by Members of Parliament as the most exciting topic they
will ever have to consider in their parliamentary careers, but
as one of the leading providers of this information to conveyancers,
we would be grateful for the opportunity to explain how NLIS and
the channels are a successful public/private partnership which
is improving the provision of comprehensive, accurate and timely
property information to their constituents.
Whilst we support the concept of the HIP, there
are a number of important issues that those scrutinising the Bill
may wish to consider to ensure that the HIP delivers the anticipated
improvements to the House Buying and Selling process.
In particular we would encourage the committee
to consider the following issues, as set out in more detail in
our response (attached) to the government's consultation paper
on the contents of the home information pack:
There is a substantial danger of
creating a "grey market" in unreliable search information
unless the HIP proposals are carefully constructed.
Insurance is no substitute for buyers
for reliable and comprehensive property information which is readily
The National Land Information Service
(NLIS) facilitates the provision of reliable and comprehensive
information for buyers and minimises delays and inefficiencies
that existed in requesting and processing searches.
Central and local government need
to fully commit to the NLIS initiative to deliver the Home Information
The way forward is for Government
to encourage private search companies to join NLIS rather than
creating alternative methods of obtaining search information.
NLIS should be the provider of search
information for the Home Information Pack.