Simple touch of a button will access land records
URBAN land records will be available via computer when the Land Registry launches an on-line search service next month.
Currently, anyone who wants information on a piece of property or land has to visit the registry's search counters.
But the new service will allow subscribers to access information by simply keying details of a property into their office or home computer.
The Land Registrar, Kenneth Pang Tsan-wing, said target customers included law firms, banks, surveyors, accountants and estate agents.
Subscribers will have to pay a minimum of $19,100 just to get hooked up to the new service, so it is unlikely to prove cost-effective for someone who makes only a few searches a year.
But the direct computer access to records will be in addition to the walk-in service already available at the Land Registry.
The registry's search fees will remain at $10 for a current land record and $20 for a current and historical record.
In one working day, the registry receives about 7,000 requests for searches.
More than 50 per cent of the requests come from law firms.
Mr Pang said: ''This new service provides customers with highly convenient and speedy access to the land register information, saving them much time and effort in obtaining this information.'' There are plans to extend the new computer service to cover New Territories land records in mid-1995.
Mr Pang said the service would have an initial capacity of 150 subscribers, although this could be doubled in two to three months, according to demand.