By Claire Hitchings
Although around 88% of land and properties in England and Wales are already registered, there are still many properties and parcels of land that remain unregistered.
If your land or property is registered, the ownership of the same is officially recorded with HM Land Registry, who maintain the Land Register for properties and land in England and Wales.
If your land or property is unregistered, then no information is held by HM Land Registry. This includes who owns the land or property. The owner of the land or property will need to prove their ownership of the same.
There are many reasons to ensure your land or property is registered with HM Land Registry and here Claire Hitchings of Redkite Law provides a few of those reasons: –
- Making it easier to buy and sell property: The deeds for unregistered land or property are usually compiled of numerous old deeds and documents. Older properties can quite often have missing or lost deeds. Registering your land or property is an opportunity to rectify any issues or problems with the title which may put off prospective purchasers. Once the land or property has been registered, the Land Registry reduces the deeds to an electronic A4 document that is usually only one or two pages long with a clear plan of the property. Once registered, it is also easy to quickly prove ownership. This can be particularly helpful when there are time pressures involved in buying or selling a property.
- Security and Peace of Mind: Registered land or property provides some additional security such as the extent of the property included within the ownership, and this can be easily established and can also help prevent adverse possession (possessory title) claims. Registration also means that any disputes regarding ownership (such as boundary disputes) can be resolved more readily. If your land or property is registered, you can also sign up to HM Land Registry’s Property Alert Service. Every time an application is made to HM Land Registry in respect of your land or property you will receive a notice via text or email notifying you of the application. This helps reduce property fraud.
- Easy Retrieval: Once your land or property is registered with HM Land Registry, all the documents are kept in one place; solicitors, banks or property owners are no longer responsible for storing these important documents. This means delays caused by trying to locate original documentation when an owner comes to sell or re-mortgage a property can be avoided.
HM Land Registry are currently offering a reduced fee for voluntary first registration applications and we would encourage people to take advantage of the opportunity to ensure that future property transactions run smoothly.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to make an appointment with us to discuss whether your land or property is registered and the next steps you can take.