Land Registration: “Why should I register my land?”
Land registration became compulsory in 1990. Since then whenever land was disposed of or “dealt with” (this includes buying, mortgaging and inheriting property) first registration was triggered. It is estimated that between 80-85% of land in England and Wales is now registered.
Owners of unregistered land can apply voluntarily to register their land and there are several advantages:
- Your title (proof of ownership) is held electronically by the Land Registry and so you do not need to worry about original title deeds being lost or destroyed.
- The extent of the land you own is clearly defined on a Title Plan; often with unregistered land plans will be out of date or inaccurate, whereas there are usually fewer issues with registered land.
- Future conveyancing may well be quicker and easier, as you will easily be able to prove ownership and the extent of your land without having to go through original deeds.
- There is a lower risk of property fraud as your title is registered online and those intending to deal with the property (such as mortgagors/prospective buyers) will be able to check the title and confirm your ownership.
- It becomes harder for others to claim rights against your land e.g. a neighbour who moves a boundary.
- Voluntary first registration attracts a reduced fee (a minimum of 25% off) compared with compulsory registration.
For advice on registering your land please contact us, we are happy to help.
Rebecca McCarthy is a trainee solicitor at Barker Gotelee.