Up until 1925, all land in England and Wales was unregistered and without possession of your title deeds it became very difficult to prove that you owned your land. With no computers and all documents written on paper, you can just imagine the countless issues that people faced at that time. With the introduction of the Land Registration Act 1925 this all changed and on the sale of your land, you were now required to register your land and interests with the Land Registry.
Realising the benefits of land registration, the government and conveyancers alike have continued to promote and push land owners to register their land. Since 1st December 1990 they took this one step further and made it compulsory for all land and properties in England and Wales to be registered.
In 2018 however the Land Registry still reported that 25% of land in England and Wales remains unregistered.
What is the Land Registry?
The Land Registry is a government department which is tasked with the running, managing and updating of the registry. It hopes that by 2030 all land in England & Wales will be registered.
Why should I register my land?
Simple – the main aim of the Land Registry is to simplify the process, which in turn reduces costs to all parties involved and room for errors. It removes the need for historic title deeds, which prove difficult to understand and in some cases do not fully relate to the land in its modern day.
Quicker – Having your land registered means that if you did wish to sell it, the process would be much more streamlined and quicker. You are simply able to download a copy of the title or plan without the need to wait for days or weeks for it to be sent out to you.
Protected – If your title is registered on the Land Registry it makes it easier to prove that your land is your land. You are also provided with a title plan which clearly defines the area of your property and helps protect you from any potential claims of adverse possession or “squatter’s rights”. Your title is also protected by the government. If at a later date it is proved that the information on the Land Registry is incorrect, you would have the option to make a claim and be compensated for your loss.
Cheaper – if you voluntarily register your land, the Land Registry are currently offering a discount of 25% for completing your application. This is not offered to you if the land triggers compulsory first registration which now occurs on all dispositions of unregistered land following the Land Registration 2002.
Registration will also reduce your legal costs as your solicitor or conveyancer does not have to review lengthy and often complicated deeds!
How will I know if my land is unregistered?
Simply a quick check on the Land Registry will be able to tell you if your land is registered or not. In certain cases, usually where land has passed down through a family, compulsory registration has not been triggered and there has been no requirement for that land to have been registered. If this sounds familiar, it would be useful for you to check!
For example, your property might not be registered if you owned it before 1990 and have not mortgaged it since.
How do I register my land?
If you find that your land is unregistered, you are able to voluntarily register that land and should do in the first instance. You can do this by getting in touch with our office today.
In other cases, your solicitor or conveyancer will be required to register the land after a trigger event, such as a re-mortgage or the sale of your property. You would therefore not benefit from the discount that comes with voluntarily registering your land.
If your land is unregistered and you cannot locate your deeds or part of; it is still vital that you start the process as soon as possible to protect you and your interests.
Get in Touch
For more advice on the benefits of registering your property or if you have any other questions, you can get in touch with Farleys’ property team on 0161 835 9513 or submit your enquiry online.