My property is not registered with HM Land Registry - can I take action?

The Land Registry have long held an ambition to achieve the registration of as much land and property across England and Wales as possible, so there will in effect be a comprehensive “jigsaw” whereby each parcel of land (including property) has a registration number which in turn identifies the extent of the ownership together with other details such as the names of the registered owners.

The process began with different start dates across England and Wales back in the 1970s and 1980s.

When can you register land?

Registration is compulsory in certain situations, such as when land is transferred from one owner to another or where a lease is granted or assigned for a term of more than seven years.

However, many people do not know that there are circumstances in which an application can be made for voluntary registration – this is where any land which remains unregistered can be registered thereby gaining the benefits that come with registration.

Registration is a process that your solicitor can deal with on your behalf, whether as part of the conveyancing process or in submitting an application for voluntary registration.

What are the benefits of registering land?

Land registration provides a State-backed guarantee that secures the title to the land. This means that if you were ever to be deprived of your title or ownership because of an error or omission by the Land Registry, you would normally be compensated.

Land registration also helps to protect your land from fraud, and can prevent any applications by third parties to try and secure adverse possession over your land (otherwise known as “squatters rights”).

Registration also safeguards against the risk of unregistered title deeds and documents being lost, destroyed or damaged.

The registration of land does make the process of buying and selling land far easier as the property title information will be held centrally by the Land Registry. The due diligence process of checking who actually owns the property and what covenants or easements might affect the land can be undertaken by your solicitor at the press of button.

If you would like further information about registration or any other property transaction, please contact us on 01745 536030.