Before the year 1925, any land in England and Wales remained unregistered and if you failed to show title deeds then it became problematic in proving that you owned the land.
As digital methods of record keeping did not exist, all deeds and documents were paper-based, and therefore there was a higher chance of issues arising if paperwork was lost.
The introduction of the Land Registration Act 1925 initiated the need for all land to be registered on the sale of land with the Land Registry.
What is Land Registry?
There is a government department for The Land Registry. When a title to a property is registered, a unique title number is given and added to their online database. The title number describes the property, addresses of the owners and states any impediments that may affect the property.
However, there are still plenty of unregistered properties in the UK which are not benefiting from this system and are relying on historical title deeds to prove ownership. In 2019, the Land Registry reported that 25% of land in England and Wales still has not been registered.
The Land Registry wishes that by 2030 all land in England & Wales will be registered.
Benefits of registering land
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.
How do I check to see if my land is unregistered?
It’s quite straightforward – a search on Land Registry will confirm if your land is registered or not. If land has been passed on through generations then sometimes, the compulsory registration may have been missed and it’s useful to check to see if that is registered.
Another reason your property might not be registered is if you owned it before 1990 and have not mortgaged it since.
Benefits of registering my land:
It’s easy to register land – The Land Registry has simplified the process of registering land, which means lower costs for everyone and less errors being made. You also do not need to keep paperwork cluttering your home, and it’s easier to verify that you own that land.
The process is fairly quick – The benefit of registering land is that when you’re ready to sell it, the selling process will be smoother and quicker to complete. All you need to do is download a copy of the digital title deeds and then proceed with the sale.
It’s much more protected – Proving that you own the land is easier if it is registered properly with Land Registry. The Land Registry will also give you a title plan that will define the area of your property. This protects potential claims of adverse possession or “squatter’s rights”. If for any reason it is demonstrated that the information on the Land Registry is incorrect, you would have the opportunity to make a claim and be compensated for your loss.
It is more cost effective – The Land Registry are offering a discount of 25% for those who register their land off their own accord. However, if you don’t voluntarily register it now, and the computer triggers a compulsory first registration then you will not be offered the 25% discount. The trigger now occurs on all dispositions of unregistered land following the Land Registration 2002.
How to register my land?
If you’ve discovered that your land remains unregistered, you can voluntarily register that land and should do in the first instance to get your 25% discount. You can do this by getting in touch with JMR solicitors today.
If your land is unregistered and you cannot find your deeds; it is still important that you start the registration process straight away to protect you and your welfare.
Contact JMR Solicitors to register your land
For more information on registering your property or if you have any other questions on property law queries, you can get in touch with JMR Solicitors on 0161 491 3933 or email us on email@example.com.