Is your property registered?
Did you know that around 15% of land in England and Wales is unregistered?
This means that there are large areas of land and properties across the country where there is no record of who owns them. This could be because the owner hasn’t ever registered details with the government, or in some cases the deeds have been lost or information not passed on when the freeholder has died.
HM Land Registry, who keep a national record of property ownership, are aiming to have all properties registered with them by 2030.
If you have bought or mortgaged your property within the last 30 years, your property should already be registered – as from 1990 compulsory registration was introduced by the government and automatically forms part of the conveyancing process.
However, a property might not be registered if you, or someone else, owned it before compulsory registration in your local area and there has not been a disposition (transfer or ownership) since then. In these circumstances we can help you voluntarily register an unregistered property you own.
Why should I register my property?
Peace of mind for you and your loved ones – registration prevents losing/misplacing your deeds to the property which can then result in you holding no evidence of who owns the property. This is also important if you have to sell a property on behalf of a relative who no longer has capacity or after a bereavement.
Digital access – all information is held electronically at HM Land Registry and is instantly downloadable.
Speed up the selling of your property – registration makes the sale smoother and prevents the need for additional enquiries and delay.
Protect against fraud – HM Land Registry will send you an email alert each time there is significant activity on the property you are monitoring, such as if a new mortgage has been taken out against the property.
Insure against future costs – if any deeds are missing from the title documents this can be highlighted immediately and an indemnity policy can be put in place, so when you come to sell the property the issue has been addressed.
Commenting on the importance of registration, Emily Rush of Fosters Solicitors’ Residential Property department, said: “We are seeing more and more people asking us to help register their property to avoid some of the pitfalls that can occur later down the line.
“Registration can help protect you from fraud and makes the process of selling your home much smoother. One thing to bear in mind is the time it has been taking for the Land Registry to process applications. However, by starting the application earlier, even if you come to sell the property prior to the application being finalised, our team can assist by keeping things moving for you with a copy of the sales memo.”
How we can help
We can help you secure ownership of your property or land – protecting you against fraud, adverse possession (someone claiming rights over your property) and making it easier for you to sell or give away your title in the future.
Our experts can also help those prove ownership where deeds have been lost and where voluntary registration is required.
We can also advise in relation to registered titles where land appears to be missing or otherwise incorrectly registered, which will allow you to perfect your title.
Whether you require assistance with your home, business premises, or a plot of land – our property experts can help you though the first registration process.
For more information, please call our Residential Property team on 01603 620508 or email them directly.
This article was produced on the 1st December 2023 by our Residential Property team for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.