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Solicitors  and  the  Land  Registry  by  Ford Banks Irwin Solicitors - The Property Lawyers in Manchester

Please note: Not to be used or relied upon without legal advice. These notes are for illustrative purposes ONLY.  For more information please visit www.LandRegistry.gov.uk.

In practice all Property Law Solicitors and Conveyancers need a good working relationship with the Land Registry. This guide to Solicitors and the Land Registry will be in question and answer format.  it is intended to give clients an insight into the work required of Property Law Solicitors and Conveyancers.


What is the Land Registry ?

The Land Registry is a government department that keeps a record of the Title Deeds and details of Property transactions such as house purchases, sales, remortgages, Leases and so on.

The Land Registry is potentially one of best managed and successful of all government departments.


Registered or Unregistered Property ?

Property Law Solicitor and Conveyancers must register all house purchases with the Land Registry.  The Land Registry is attempting to establish a register of all Title Deeds of Properties in England and Wales.  The Land Registry grade the Title Deeds and then give a guarantee on the accuracy of the Registers.  The guarantee entitles anyone who suffers loss caused by inaccurate Registers access to compensation.

The old system of Title Deeds is referred to by Property Law Solicitors and Conveyancers as unregistered land. This system requires the Owners to hold the Title Deeds and Documents.  It is possession of the Title Deeds that is important and the chain of transactions showing how the current Owner became the Owner.  There is no government guarantee supporting this system of ownership.

The initial task for the Seller's Solicitors and Conveyancer is to ascertain whether the Title Deeds are registered or unregistered. To find out if the Property is registered the Seller's Solicitors can send in a SIM form to the Land Registry.  The SIM form is a search of the Index Map.  The Index Map is essentially a detailed Ordnance Survey Map of England and Wales.   The results of the SIM search are returned to th Seller's Solicitors setting out all the Titles registered including applications for first registration,  rentcharges, cautions against first registration etc.


How is the information held by the Land Registry ?

The Land Registry keep information in three Registers and a Title Plan. Property Law Solicitors and Conveyancers check all parts of the Title Deeds.

The first part of the Title Deeds is the Property Register.  This Register describes the Property (usually the postal address) and refers to the Title Plan.  In the case of Leasehold Properties it usually provides brief particulars of the Lease.  Any rights that benefit the Property are also noted in the Property Register.

The second part of the Title Deeds is the Proprietorship Register.  This specifies the grade of Title Deeds and the name and address of the registered Owner.  Any restrictions on the registered Owner's power are also set out in the Proprietorship Register.  For example, where there is a mortgage on the Property the Proprietorship Register usually contains a restriction on the Registered Owner dealing with the Title Deeds without the Mortgagees written consent.

The third part of the Title Deeds is the Charges Register.  The Charges Register lists all the mortgages affecting the Property.  It also specifies all the other burdens, rights and interests affecting the Property.  The Land Registry will either repeat the restrictions on the Charges Register or alternatively refer to pre-registration Title Deeds.  These pre-registration Title Deeds are held by the Land Registry and copies are made available to the Property Law Solicitors and Conveyancers.

Property Law Solicitors and Conveyancers can obtain all parts of the Land Registry Title Deeds electronically, by telephone or by post

If you require any further information or want to clarify any of the points contained herein please telephone 0161 866 8999 and ask for Paul.