Logbook pilot launched to address Working Group concerns

The Home Buying and Selling Group (HBSG) has arranged the test-and-learn pilot scheme involving a group of lawyers and conveyancers to iron out specific barriers to the adoption and use of the logbook for property transactions.

For logbooks to be effective, widespread adoption across the industry is essential, and the HBSG is also planning engagement with surveyors and estate agents.

Stakeholders need confidence in the system:

The assumption that logbooks will improve the conveyancing part of the home buying process was challenged by the law firms who took part in the HBSG Working Group in summer 2023.

A key concern was defining industry standards for what a logbook is and what information is included. Conveyancers also questioned how they could trust the information provided in a logbook, given there can be up to 19 different sources for property information.

Consistent and standard information should be included in all logbooks, including an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a Title Plan, the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN), and the verified identity of the owner. Other data is expected to include planning permissions, building regulation notices, neighbour agreements and guarantees.

Government must be an advocate for adoption:

The eventual aim is for the logbook to be rolled out industry-wide, and the Working Group has called for the UK Government to help drive the development and take-up of the system and to make government-held data more easily available. 

Propertymark represented the views of our members during the development of UK Government policy, feeding into work by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on digital identity policy in the home buying process.

The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (DPDI) moved into its Committee stage in the House of Lords in March 2024 and, once introduced, it will support the development of secure digital identity services which promise to speed up property purchases, reduce fraud and revolutionise the customer experience.

Driving change in the sector:

The failure to embrace new technology has led to little change in the industry over the last thirty years. In fact, given that the process has become complex, involving larger amounts of money and that people are moving less than they have traditionally in the past, some of our member agents felt that the failure to adopt new technology has led to even greater delays.

In our April 2024 position paper, The Future of Home Buying and Selling, which is shared with politicians and stakeholders to support our campaign work, Propertymark examines the current process to clearly present the current frustrations and highlight areas of good practice and positive development to policymakers.


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