Should I Register My House With The Land Registry ?
Land or property must be registered with the Land Registry when it changes hands or is mortgaged, this is why we will often refer to ‘Land Registry fees’, or making an application to the Land Registry after completion of a property transaction.
However, if your property is unregistered, you can also apply to register it with the Land Registry voluntarily. Registration of properties become compulsory in around 1990, so if you purchased your property before then it is likely that it is not registered with the Land Registry.
Unregistered deeds may include a bundle of various documents, some stretching back many years to prove the chain of ownership of that property. These documents can often be difficult to decipher, or some old documents may be missing. Registering the property can help to make the process of selling or transferring a property easier when that time comes, as the documents become digitised and shown in a compact way, also any defects in the title can be resolved during the registration process. It will also help in that the Land Registry will produce a plan showing the full extent of the property owned, this is not always evident with an older style of unregistered deeds as they can be unclear or details of roads surrounding the area may have changed over time.
Registering the property also helps in case the deeds are lost. There will likely only be one set of unregistered deeds so if they go missing, it may be difficult to prove ownership – thereby prolonging any transaction and causing possible stress and frustration. Once registered there will always be a record of the property on the H M Land Registry database which can be easily accessed.
Unfortunately, property fraud is also increasing and having the property registered can make properties less attractive to criminals. The Land Registry also offer a ‘property alert system’ which can provide updates or notifications if there is activity on the title to your property.
The Land Registry do charge a fee for registering a property (which is based on the value of the property), but this fee is reduced when an application is made voluntarily.
If you would like to discuss whether your property is unregistered, or ask us to register it on your behalf, please contact our property department now and we would be happy to help.