Title Register Property Ownership Information


Article Summary

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

  1. Administrative Detail
    e.g. Title Number and Land Registry office
  2. A : Property Register
    This section deals with the property and the rights benefiting it
  3. B : Proprietorship Register
    The B section deals with ownership and matters affecting ownership
  4. C : Charges Register
    The C section deals with matters burdening the property

Administrative Detail

This Section of the Register contains administrative detail, some of which will be important to you.


Title Number

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:

Birkenhead

HM Land Registry, Rosebrae Court, Woodside Ferry Approach, Birkenhead CH41 6DU

Coventry HM Land Registry, Coventry Office, 55 Butts Road, Coventry CV1 3BH
Croydon HM Land Registry, Trafalgar House, 1 Bedford Park, Croydon CR0 2AQ
Durham HM Land Registry, Southfield House, Southfield Way, Durham DH1 5TR
Fylde HM Land Registry, Wrea Brook Court, Lytham Road, Warton, Preston PR4 1TE
Gloucester HM Land Registry, Twyver House, Bruton Way, Gloucester GL1 1DQ
Hull HM Land Registry, Earle House, Colonial Street, Hull HU2 8JN
Leicester HM Land Registry, Westbridge Place, Leicester LE3 5DR
Nottingham HM Land Registry, Castle Wharf House, 2 Canal Street, Nottingham NG1 7AU
Peterborough HM Land Registry, Stuart House, West Wing, City Road, Peterborough PE1 1QF
Plymouth HM Land Registry, Seaton Court, 2 William Prance Road, Plymouth PL6 5WS
Telford HM Land Registry, Parkside Court, Hall Park Way, Telford TF3 4LR
Wales HM Land Registry, Ty Cwm Tawe, Phoenix Way, Llansamlet, Swansea SA7 9FQ
Weymouth 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:

1   (13.01.1995)   The Freehold land shown edged with red on the plan of the above Title filed at the Registry and being the Bayou, Key Lane, Whelmsdale LE19 3SR.


Tenure

There are 3 types of property tenure:

  • Freehold
  • Leasehold
  • Copyhold

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.


Property Address

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.

1 (23.10.1998) The Freehold land shown edged with red on the plan of the above Title filed at the Registry and being all that parcel of land abutting the south west border of Aileen Wood, Pantymoyn, Llandegla, Denbigh and lying between the letters marked A, B, C and D.

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:

NOTE: Copy filed LT34399392X

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.


Boundary Structures

Title Registers often contain a reference to a Boundary Structure Notice, and refer to a Deed containing more detail, as in this sample:

2 The Transfer dated 31 March 1995 referred to in the Charges Register contains a provision as to boundary structures

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:

(iii) any fence wall or hedge erected or planted along the boundary between the property hereby transferred and the Transferors retained property shall be maintained and kept in repair at the joint expense of the Transferors and the Transferees.

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:

3 (27.03.2010) A new title plan based on the latest revision of the Ordnance Survey Map has been prepared.

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:

7 The land has the benefit of the rights of way over the land tinted brown and rights of user over the gardens tinted blue on the title plan.


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:

B : Proprietorship Register

This register specifies the class of title and identifies the owner. It contains any entries that affect the right of disposal.

Title absolute

1   (30.10.2001)   Proprietor: Roger George Bentley and Grace Margaret Bentley of Bayou, Key Lane, Whelmsdale LE19 3SR.


Ownership Details

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:

Title absolute

This register specifies the class of title and identifies the owner. It contains any entries that affect the right of disposal.

Title absolute

1   (30.10.2001)   Proprietor: Roger George Bentley and Grace Margaret Bentley of Bayou, Key Lane, Whelmsdale LE19 3SR.

2   (30.10.2001)   The price stated to have been paid on 23 September 1995 was £570,000.

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.


Purchase Price

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:

5 (30.10.2001) RESTRICTION: No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the Registrar or the court.

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.


Personal Covenants

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:

3   30.10.2001)   The Transfer to the proprietor contains a covenant to observe and perform the covenants referred to in the Charges Register and of indemnity in respect thereof.

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.


Restrictive Covenants

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.


Title Register

The Land Registry Title Register holds data relating to the property ownership, purchase price, mortgage, tenure, covenants, rights of way, leases and class of title.

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Title Plan

The Title Plan shows an outline of the property and its immediate neighbourhood, and uses colours to identify rights of way, general boundaries and land affected by covenants.

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Lease & Lease Plans

The Lease and its Lease Plan usually form one document and are both provided for the one fee. They are very useful in resolving disputes, particularly with car parking and other shared areas.

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