When you buy a property, the transaction must be registered at the Land Registry. Compulsory registration was introduced around 20 years ago but a significant percentage of all land in England and Wales is still unregistered. However, registration offers various advantages to property owners and can provide:
- greater security of title backed by a State guarantee – this removes the risk of your title deeds being lost, destroyed or stolen;
- greater protection against the risk of you losing all or part of your property as a result of property or mortgage fraud – unfortunately the occurrence of these types of fraud has increased in recent years;
- greater protection against the possibility of losing all or part of your title as a result of adverse possession by a third party – you would be notified by the Land Registry in the event of anyone seeking to register your property as their own;
- indemnity against any loss if you were deprived of any part of your title as a result of any necessary rectification of the Register, for example if the Land Registry were obliged to rectify the Register due to any error made by them and this adversely affected your title;
- simplification of your title, with all the rights which benefit and affect your property (with limited exceptions) set out or referred to on the registered title;
- a title plan showing clearly the extent of the land in your title;
- greater certainty and simplicity in the event of the sale or transfer of your property – this can prove to be an advantage to both you and your buyer and can, for example, avoid an unduly protracted transaction caused by uncertainty relating to the title or any rights/restrictions affecting the property;
- easy on-line access to your title register.
If you are interested in voluntarily registering the title to your property, you could deal with this yourself or instruct solicitors to act on your behalf. We at Borlase and Company offer to deal with this for a reasonable charge and with the Land Registry offering a discount for voluntary registration fees, it may not cost as much as you might expect.