Land or property must be registered for the first time if it is currently unregistered when you take ownership or someone new takes ownership of it or if you mortgage it.
Even if you don’t have to register, registering voluntarily gives you proof of ownership and helps protect your land or property from fraud.
How do I know if my property/land is unregistered?
If you do not know if your property is registered or unregistered, an online check through the Land Registry can be made. A solicitor can assist you with this.
The benefits of voluntary first registration
If your property is not registered, there are benefits to undertaking voluntary first registration:
- The Land Registry fees for voluntary first registration are lower than the fees for compulsory registration i.e there is a financial inducement to register.
- Registration makes dealing with your land/property in future easier, more efficient and most importantly offer you protection against fraudsters in addition.
- It will save time and reduce cost on any future dealings/transactions with the property/land.
- Registration reduces the amount of paperwork that needs to be retained and significantly reduces the risk of deeds being lost due to them being available from the Land Registry in electronic form following the voluntary registration of the land/property.
- There is title guaranteed offered by the Land Registry. The Land Registry produce a title plan providing an accurate plan of the extent of ownership of your property/land.
- Registration provides better protection against claims of adverse possession or squatters rights.
- If you do not register the property it may be left for future generations to deal with who may not have knowledge of the land/property particularly where the legal title is complicated or some deeds have been lost.
- Registration provides an opportunity for any anomalies that might need to be sorted out with the legal title to the property/land that would have remained undiscovered otherwise prior to any subsequent sale or mortgage of the land/property voluntarily.
How do I register my property/land?
A formal application will need to be made to the Land Registry. A solicitor can assist you with this and would need your original title deeds so that the relevant documents can be filtered out. Those documents are then sent to the Land Registry with the application and consolidated into a single title document for the property/land.
If you would like any more information or need help with voluntary first registration get in touch with Jenny Bell, Vicky Middleton or Rachel Butterfield in our Residential Conveyancing Team who will be happy to assist.