Risks with your property’s unregistered title

Naomi Wilson, Director and Solicitor in Astle Paterson’s Commercial Department discusses the benefits of registering your property’s title at the Land Registry.

Naomi said “On 1st December 1988 Burton upon Trent and the wider East Staffordshire region became an area of compulsory registration with the Land Registry for property.  Until this time properties falling within the district could be bought, sold, leased and mortgaged without the need for the Land Registry to see the title deeds.  Documentation simply changed hands between the parties to the transaction and the relevant paperwork was placed with the deeds for safekeeping as evidence that the transaction had taken place.

The Land Registry became increasingly concerned that if a person’s land remained unregistered the only evidence they would have of their ownership was a bundle of old title deeds that could be mislaid.  Worse still, unregistered title deeds could be wrongfully obtained by a third party and fraudulently registered with Land Registry, leaving little recourse to the actual owner who would have no knowledge that the title to their land had been obtained by someone else.  To assist, the Land Registry reduced their normal registration fees by 25% in an effort to increase the number of voluntary registrations.  As a result Land Registry now has more than 22 million titles registered – however, more than 30% of the land in England & Wales remains unregistered.”

At Astle Paterson we can apply to register your unregistered land with the Land Registry.   Upon receipt of an application for registration, Land Registry creates an electronic copy of all pertinent title documentation relating to that property and allocates it an individual title number and official plan denoting the boundaries.

In conclusion, Naomi stated that “The process of selling, mortgaging or leasing a registered property is easier and more straightforward than with an unregistered property because all the pertinent facts are contained within one easily accessible document.

Further, the risks associated with an unregistered title – the documents being mislaid or the threat of someone registering your title fraudulently after obtaining your documents – will be no more.”

If you believe the title to your property to be unregistered and you wish us to act on your behalf in registering the title deeds to your property, please contact our Conveyancing team on 01283 531366 or and we will be pleased to help. 

We currently charge just £150.00 plus VAT (together with the appropriate Land Registry fee).

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