We are seeing fewer properties that are unregistered these days. This is due to compulsory registration gradually being phased in over the last 30 years. Nonetheless, if you purchased your property or land pre 1986, it may still be unregistered if it hasn’t been affect by either a sale, purchase, deed of gift, mortgage, new lease or assent.

What does unregistered mean?
Unregistered simply means a record of your ownership is not held centrally at the Land Registry. Proof of ownership is therefore in the form of the original title deeds.

How will I know if my property is registered or unregistered?
You can find out online for free by submitting a ‘detailed enquiry’ on the Land Registry website, or enquire with your solicitor.

What events trigger compulsory registration under the Land Registration Act 2002?
– Freehold Conveyance
– Lease granted for more than seven years it lease assignment
– Assent/venting assent
– First legal mortgage
– Appointment of trustee by deed or vesting order

What is voluntary first registration?
If your property is unregistered you can voluntarily register your property with the Land Registry. The Land Registry charges a fee for this which is based on the value of the property. The Land Registry website has further information.

Why is registration important?
Firstly, the Land Registry holds your title electronically so there is no concern over misplacing your deeds. Your interest in and title to the property is protected by being part of a public register therefore you have security and certainty as to what you own. In addition, where an unregistered title is complex, its registration will make title investigation simpler for potential buyers and speed up the conveyancing process when you decide to sell.

What if my property is unregistered but I have misplaced some of the deeds?
This happens. If it does, you will need to apply to the Land Registry for registration of title based on a Statement of Truth as to where and how the title deeds were destroyed, or as to the circumstances in which they were lost.

If your property is not registered and you would like to apply for first registration, the Residential Property team at Thompson Smith and Puxon can help. The team, led by Director Laura Finnigan can be contacted on 01206 574431 or by email at laura.finnigan@tsplegal.com