Land Registry are keen to encourage people to register their property
Voluntary Registration – “Putting your house in order”
The Land Registry says that just 65% of property and land in England and Wales is currently registered with them. Presently registration is not compulsory until the property is sold, remortgaged or otherwise disposed of. The chances are that unless your property was purchased or has been remortgaged since the late 1980’s (certainly in Lancashire & Cumbria) when registering such transactions became compulsory, then your property is likely to be unregistered.
If that is the case all the legalities surrounding your property exist only as a bundle of old documents, with no guarantee of their effectiveness or that they are perfect in every respect. Such flaws would only come to light if you wanted to sell or remortgage, or if heavens forbid there was a dispute over your property e.g. a boundary dispute. Rectifying any imperfections at that stage could be too late, or prove costly and may delay any transaction.
The Land Registry is currently encouraging voluntary registration of land and property. We too think it is a good idea to undertake this task at a time when you chose, rather than out of necessity.
So what are the benefits of registering your property?
- A registered title proves you own it. It is guaranteed by the state. The Land Registry describes it as “the ultimate ownership guarantee”. It protects against claims on your land if someone decides to encroach upon it or it can be easier to resolve disputes over ownership or boundary disputes.
- Registered land is more convenient. All the information is kept on the Land Registry database and can be quickly viewed or copies printed out. The added bonus is that it can be quickly viewed on line.
- Any future sale of your property is easier with registered land and may involve less expense than unregistered land.
- We anticipate over the next few years the Government will introduce “electronic conveyancing” and this will only be possible with registered land. Being unregistered will cause delay.
- If you plan to remortgage your property then additional legal costs will be involved with unregistered property. We are recently aware of a major lender charging £400 – £500 more on a mortgage of unregistered land.
- Registering your property creates a permanent record and eliminates the risk of lost, destroyed or incomplete deeds.
So keen are the Land Registry to encourage people to register their property that they offer a reduced fee for voluntary registrations.
Your home is probably the most valuable asset you own. If it is unregistered is it not time to put your “house in order” at a time of your own choice?
Wright & Lord have a Property Department, whose team has many years of experience dealing with all types of property issues. We can talk you through the process of registering your property and the whole matter can be completed within a short space of time giving you the peace of mind that your home is protected.