Housebuilder Top Tip: How to keep options, pre-emption and conditional agreements confidential in the new age?

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Housebuilder Top Tip: How to keep options, pre-emption and conditional agreements confidential in the new age?

Published 30 September 2020

The Government has proposed prohibiting the existing ability to protect interests in land (such as rights of pre-emption, options and conditional contracts) at the Land Registry without the requirement to provide a copy of the relevant contract or specifics of the interest. The impetus is to improve transparency and support the Government’s Planning for the Future white paper (see our Key Points article for more on that).

Under the proposals, developers will not be able to protect contractual interests unless “contractual control data” has been provided to the Land Registry. The proposal raises concerns as to how to protect contractual interests without disclosing sensitive commercial information. Developers will need to give careful thought about what information they want in the public domain.

An alternative solution could lie in the existing ability to request that the Land Registry accept redacted documents pursuant to the exempt information document regime. However this is not comprehensive and has significant limitations.

There is still time to influence government policy in this area. The consultation remains open until 30 October 2020. If you would like to discuss further please contact Aleem Khan. The consultation paper can be found here.

Authors

Aleem Khan

Aleem Khan

London - Walbrook

+44(0)20 7894 6587

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