The Land Registry wants your land registered…so much so that it pledged to have all land in England and Wales registered by 2012. Two years on and there is still a large amount of land in the West Country and nationally unregistered.

What is Voluntary Registration?

Registered titles provide up to date records of who owns a particular property or piece of land and include details of any rights which the property benefits from and any obligations or requirements which the property is subject to. Whenever unregistered land is sold, mortgaged or transferred (amongst other things) that land has to be registered, but it is clear that this requirement alone will not ensure all land becomes registered. The Land Registry is therefore encouraging voluntary applications for registration by offering reduced fees, but there are many other benefits of registering your property.

The Benefits

  • Registered titles are guaranteed by the state. When you sell (or transfer) your land the individual buying can be certain of its ownership and this makes for a more straightforward transaction, saving time and effort on all sides.
  • Registered titles are kept electronically and unlike unregistered title deeds, cannot be lost, damaged, or destroyed. It can be a costly business to prove your ownership if unregistered title deeds are missing or damaged.
  • Registration simplifies and reduces costs for future conveyancing transactions and assists with fraud prevention.
  • An application for voluntary registration can be an excellent opportunity to review the property holdings of an estate, confirming the extent and nature of your ownership or revealing problems. This can give you time to protect your interests and put matters right for the future.
  • Registration provides a clear and reliable statement of the boundaries of a property and reduces the potential for boundary disputes between neighbours.
  • If your land is unregistered it can be easier for a squatter to stake a claim without your knowledge. Once your land is registered you are automatically notified of such claims and given time to challenge them before it’s too late. Registration can therefore be crucial for large estates or second homes where it might be impossible to monitor encroachments with the degree of accuracy and regularity required.
  • The costs of registration in the future are expected to rise. Acting now could save you money in the future

In future the compulsory registration requirements may well be extended in an effort to ensure that all land becomes registered.  For most property owners planning ahead is likely to be the cheaper, safer option in the long run.

Contact Carinna on 01460 279279 or email [email protected]