Title Register Property Ownership Information
The purpose of this article is to teach what each part of a Title Register means and what it is used for. It explains thoroughly the meaning and purpose of each clause, using samples to illustrate. Even the introductory section of the Register is explained, and a list of each Land Registry office and address is provided. We include all matters relating to the Register, the Property, the Ownership, Obligations, Restrictions, Rights, Easements, the Title Plan and its legend, the tenure, Class of Title, Restrictive and Personal Covenants, mortgages, Charges, Notices, and much more.
The Title Register
Many of our customers obtain copies of the Title Register because they want to know the names and addresses of the owners of a property, or because they are buying the property and their solicitor has asked them to obtain it. But did you know that the Register provides a wealth of additional and useful information?
Sections of the Title Register
- Administrative Detail
e.g. Title Number and Land Registry office
- A : Property Register
This section deals with the property and the rights benefiting it
- B : Proprietorship Register
The B section deals with ownership and matters affecting ownership
- C : Charges Register
The C section deals with matters burdening the property
This Section of the Register contains administrative detail, some of which will be important to you.
Each property has a unique Title Number assigned to it by the Land Registry, and each individual registerable interest in the property also has a unique Title Number. This means that where a freehold property is divided into smaller properties, e.g. flats, there will be a freehold Title and a number of different leasehold Titles. A further example would be in the case of a stretch of riverbank, where there may be a freehold title and a number of different Fishing Right interests along the river bank (technically known as profits a prendre in gross). So long as the Deed creating the fishing rights is more than 7 years long, the same may be registered at the Land Registry.
The Title Number is found on the top of the first page of the Title Register and Title Plan, and also in the header on each page of the Register.
Land Registry Office
All correspondence and applications submitted to the Land Registry must cite the Title Number and must be directed to the Land Registry office dealing with the property. Please note that this is not necessarily the Land Registry office closest to you. The name of the Land Registry office is found in the administrative detail at the top of the first page of the Register (usually last item in the short list).
The following Land Registry offices exist:
||HM Land Registry, Rosebrae Court, Woodside Ferry Approach, Birkenhead CH41 6DU
||HM Land Registry, Coventry Office, 55 Butts Road, Coventry CV1 3BH
||HM Land Registry, Trafalgar House, 1 Bedford Park, Croydon CR0 2AQ
||HM Land Registry, Southfield House, Southfield Way, Durham DH1 5TR
||HM Land Registry, Wrea Brook Court, Lytham Road, Warton, Preston PR4 1TE
||HM Land Registry, Twyver House, Bruton Way, Gloucester GL1 1DQ
||HM Land Registry, Earle House, Colonial Street, Hull HU2 8JN
||HM Land Registry, Westbridge Place, Leicester LE3 5DR
||HM Land Registry, Castle Wharf House, 2 Canal Street, Nottingham NG1 7AU
||HM Land Registry, Stuart House, West Wing, City Road, Peterborough PE1 1QF
||HM Land Registry, Seaton Court, 2 William Prance Road, Plymouth PL6 5WS
||HM Land Registry, Parkside Court, Hall Park Way, Telford TF3 4LR
||HM Land Registry, Ty Cwm Tawe, Phoenix Way, Llansamlet, Swansea SA7 9FQ
||HM Land Registry, Melcombe Court, 1 Cumberland Drive, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 9TT
Official Evidence of Ownership
Land Registry Title Registers are official evidence of ownership. The names and addresses of the owners of the property are detailed in the B section of the Register. The administrative detail at the top of the Register contains the following statement: "Under s67 of the Land Registration Act 2002, this copy is admissible as evidence to the same extent as the original."
Date of First Registration
The date of first registration is needed for many matters, e.g. you may wish to obtain prior copies of the Title Register. They can be obtained back to 1993 or the date of first registration, whichever is the later. Knowing the date of first registration tells you the earliest date that you can obtain a prior copy of the Register for.
This date may also be a date shortly after the property was first built, which is a common question asked by insurance companies.
The date is found at the beginning of the A section of the Title Register, usually the first date in brackets immediately before the property address or description, as you can see here:
There are 3 types of property tenure:
Copyhold Titles barely exist, and so for most purposes there are only Freehold and Leasehold Titles. All leasehold estates in property were created from a freehold estate and so you will always know that where there is a leasehold there is also a freehold. However, not all freeholds have a leasehold title. Leasehold Titles are created when the owner of a Freehold Title grants a lease for a part of his property, as when he develops flats. Further, where there is a lease, although there is a freehold estate in the property, it may not yet be registered.
To find the tenure of the property, look in the A section of the Title Register for the property description, as in the example just seen.
Not all properties have a postal address. For those that do the postal address will be shown. Where the property comprises a parcel of land without a building the property will be described in other ways, as in this sample.
The place to look in the Register for the property address is in the A section. In the sample shown you should note the reference to the Title Plan and to the description that the property is shown thereon as the land edged in red. It is good practice, when obtaining a copy of the Title Register to also obtain a copy of the Title Plan, as the two documents reference each other in respect of many different matters, the above being one such example.
Copies of Conveyancing Deeds
Deeds created by conveyancers in regard to the sale, purchase or other dispositions relating to the property can be detailed and lengthy. Much of the detail is often not necessary to describe the property and the terms upon which it is held. But the important information is always iterated in the Title Register. Sometimes, however, there may be information within a Deed that although not patently important may become so where a boundary dispute, right of way or access issue arises. Where the Land Registry consider this a possibility they will make an electronic copy of the Deed and insert a note at the end of the paragraph referring to it, as in this sample:
In the sample shown a copy of the Deed has been made but the copy is filed with a different property Title (in this case, following a sale of part of the property). The effect of the Note is to tell you that a copy can be purchased if you wish to see it.
Title Registers often contain a reference to a Boundary Structure Notice, and refer to a Deed containing more detail, as in this sample:
There is normally a note at the foot of the relevant paragraph in the Register to confirm that a copy has been made of the Deed. This is what a sample extract from a Transfer Deed showing short details of a Boundary Structure Notice looks like:
Notices such as this can be very helpful in resolving disputes that often arise in regard to property boundaries.
Revision to the Title Plan
From time to time the Ordnance Survey map is amended. As the Land Registry Title Plan is based on the OS map an amendment is made to bring it in line with it. A note to this effect will then be inserted into the A section of the Title Register, as in this sample:
There are many other reasons why a Title Plan may be amended, e.g. the Land Registry may have made an error when creating the Title Plan, which they will normally base on a drawing sent to them on first registration.
Coloured Markings in the Title Plan
The description of the property in the A section of the Title Register may be considerably detailed where individual parcels of land are affected by rights of way, rights of access, restrictive covenants and the like. The Title Plan will show these parcels of land as tinted or hatched in different colours so as to readily distinguish them from other parcels of land within the ownership. The following example demonstrates:
Class of Title
There are 4 classes of Title:
1. Absolute - there may be an absolute freehold or absolute leasehold title. This is the best class of title available.
2. Possessory - a possessory title is often provided in regard to small parcels of land along property borders, where one owner has fenced off an area for 10 years or more and is claiming title to it. This class of title is also provided for unregistered house owners who have lost their deeds and who apply for registration thereafter. There may be a possessory freehold title or a possessory leasehold title.
3. Qualified - this is a class of title reserved for properties where there is a serious defect, e.g. where the owner was unable to show a good root of title when applying for first registration. There may be a qualified freehold title or a qualified leasehold title.
4. Good Leasehold - a good leasehold title is provided where the owner was unable to produce a copy of the lease on first registration and the freeholder's title was not already registered. It is a good form of title, nevertheless, and is quite common.
The class of Title is provided in the B section of the Title Register, immediately below the section heading, as in the following extract:
The property owners are referred to as registered proprietors. Their names and addresses are provided in the B section of the Title Register, as in the following sample:
The registered owners can each provide 3 contact addresses to the Land Registry, which helps to deter fraud. These addresses can include an email address and an address Abroad.
It is important to check that your name is registered correctly. If it is mis-spelt, a middle name missing or out of date because you have changed it or reverted back to your maiden name, you should apply to change it as soon as possible. This is because official organisations will often check that you are the owner of your property. If your registered name does not exactly match your actual name this will cause a problem until you correct it. As this may take 6 weeks or more to be registered, it is as well to deal with it now, before there is a pressing need to do so.
Learn more about correcting your name at the Land Registry.
Since April 2000 the Land Registry include a statement as to how much the property was purchased for, as in the above example, found in the B section of the Title Register.
Date of Purchase
The date of Purchase of a property can be gleaned from the B section of the Title Register, as follows:
1. The date of registration of the purchase is the first date in brackets in the B section of the Register, as in the example above.
2. The actual date of completion of the purchase is provided in 2 places:
- The purchase price will state the date the purchase money was paid, i.e. the date of completion of the purchase, and
- If there is a mortgage, the date of the registered charge will be shown in the C register. The charge is usually dated on the date of completion.
Joint Tenancy or Tenancy in Common
The default manner of registering joint ownership is to register as beneficial joint tenants. There is no statement in the Register to this effect, but unless a form of Restriction as in the specified wording below appears, then it is to be assumed that registration is as a beneficial joint tenancy. This would mean that each owner has a 100% interest in the property, and therefore if one dies, the remaining owner still has a 100% share of the property and inherits as right of survivor, i.e. without any formal transfer or other process, and there is no transfer on death for inheritance tax purposes.
If the property has been registered as, or converted to, a tenancy in common, the B section of the Register will contain a Restriction in the following wording:
When the property is registered as a tenancy in common each party owns a distinct percentage of the property, which will be reflected in a Trust Deed or in a Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy. Their respective shares can be left in a Will, to whom they wish, although the death of one of the spouses will create a taxable inheritance.
A personal covenant does not "run with the land", i.e. it does not pass along with the property to the next owner, as a restrictive covenant would. It is personal to the current owner, and for this reason personal covenants are contained in the B section of the Register, as in the following example:
Although personal covenants do not run with the land, it is common practice for the solicitor acting for a purchaser to include a clause in the transfer (and to apply for registration of it in the Title Register) for the new owner to observe and perform the same covenants and to provide an indemnity to the vendor in the event that he breaches the covenants.
Mortgages and Charges
A Mortgage or Charge burdens a property with the amount outstanding. Mortgages and Charges are listed in the C section of the Register. The register entry shows the name of the mortgagee or chargee and their address, but does not show the amount outstanding, details of which can only be obtained from the mortgagee or chargee.
A restrictive covenant is a covenant that prevents the registered owners, and their successors in title, from taking certain actions, making changes to the property, or using the property for a disallowed purpose. Examples would be not to use residential properties to make soap, to store combustable material, to park a caravan in the garden, etc. Restrictive Covenants can be lengthy and are often included in a schedule at the end of the C section of the Register.