Protecting Unregistered Land and Voluntary First Registration

Although the majority of land in England and Wales is now registered at the Land Registry there is still a large amount of land that remains unregistered. It is thought that much of this unregistered land is rural farmland. This is likely to be because the land has been farmed by families and their farming partnerships for many years without a ‘trigger event’ arising which would require first registration.

There are a number of trigger events which lead to registration at the Land Registry becoming compulsory, such as a sale of the land, the grant of a lease for more than seven years and a first mortgage. Until such a trigger event occurs there is currently no requirement to register land voluntarily. However, voluntary first registration is an option and is arguably the best way to protect your land.

Set out below are just a few of the advantages of voluntary first registration:

  • it can make it more difficult for squatters to claim adverse possession;
  • once the title is registered, it is guaranteed and compensation is payable should the register be rectified and the registered proprietor suffer a loss; and
  • where an unregistered title is complex, its registration will make title investigation far simpler and speed up the conveyancing process for any future sale, lease or mortgage.

Registration of land and property is often something that does not get given much thought, but applying for voluntary first registration whilst you as the proprietor know where the title deeds are being kept and have detailed knowledge of the land (which is often invaluable) can save a lot of time and expense in the future.

We regularly deal with voluntary first registrations so please contact us if you would like to discuss this further. 

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.