Understanding your property's title documents

 

When property is registered at HM Land Registry it is allocated its own unique title number.

Each title number will have a corresponding “title register” and “title plan”, which contain the title number at the top of the document in large bold type.  Once your property has been registered, or any registrable dealings have been completed by registration at HM Land Registry (e.g., a transfer of the legal ownership of the property, or securing a legal charge over the property), your solicitor will provide you with new and updated copies of your title register and title plan.

Title register

The title register is made up of three separate registers: A) The Property Register; B) The Proprietorship Register; and C) The Charges Register. 

  • The Property Register:

This describes the Property with a brief property description and a reference to the title plan.  It also states the estate held (i.e., freehold or leasehold estate).

The Property Register may also include any easements or covenants which exist for the benefit of the Property (e.g., if the property benefits from a right of way over neighbouring land).

  • The Proprietorship Register:

This states the class of title (see Land Registry’s Practice Guide 42 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/upgrading-the-class-of-title/practice-guide-42-upgrading-the-class-of-title), the name and address for service of the registered proprietor and the price they paid for the Property (since April 2000) and any limitations on the registered proprietor’s powers to deal with the property (for example, if they need their mortgage lender’s permission before transferring the property).

  • The Charges Register:

This contains details of any burdens affecting the property, such as restrictive covenants (e.g., restrictions on the use of the property), positive covenants (e.g., obligations to maintain a fence or driveway), easements and mortgages. 

Below is a useful link to the Land Registry’s website, explaining the different elements of the title register.

http://www.landregistry-titledeeds.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions/information/using-the-title-register.asp

Title plan

When property is registered, the Land Registry produce a title plan of the property, based on the information contained in the original title deeds.  The title plan supports the property description in the title register, and identifies the general extent of the land in the registered title, which is usually shown with red edging.  

It is important to note that the title plans show the general position, not the exact line, of the boundaries only.  A title plan is therefore not intended to be a definitive record of the precise land contained within any one title

More information about title plans can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/land-registry-plans-title-plan/land-registry-plans-title-plan-practice-guide-40-supplement-5

More information about title plans and boundaries can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/land-registry-plans-boundaries/land-registry-plans-boundaries-practice-guide-40-supplement-3

Dealings with registered land

Any dealings with registered property must subsequently be registered at HM Land Registry, as the dealing will not have affect in law until the dealing has been registered.  For example, this means that, until the transfer of the property has been registered, the legal title to the property will not pass to the new buyer until registration has completed.

Once HM Land Registry has completed the registration a new title register will be issued, and copies will be sent to you by your solicitor for your safe keeping. 

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.