Statutes and Statutory Instruments
The law regulating the content of HM Land Registry Title Registers in England and Wales is governed by the Land Registration Act 2002 and Land Registration Rules 2003.
Rule 5(a) of the Land Registration Rules states that the property register for the registered land must contain a description of the land and refer to a plan which should be based on the Ordnance Survey map and should be known as the Title Plan.
These two documents comprise the Title documents, although they are often supplemented with copies of deeds that have been created to formalise, or which include, agreements between the buyer and seller, adjoining land owners or third parties.
These Deeds usually relate to covenants, restrictions and easements and can be very detailed
Statutory Content of Register
Rule 4 of the Land Registration Rules 2003 sets out the main contents of The Register and states that it should consist of 3 Registers:
- Property Register
- Proprietorship Register
- Charges Register (if there are any charges)
Rule 4 continues by stating that entries in any of these registers may be made by reference to a plan or other documents, in which case the Land Registrar must keep the original or copy of that document.
Rule 4 (4) states that the Land Registrar may, and in practice does, make a new edition of the register so that it shows the subsisting entries only, i.e. each time there is a change made to the register it is updated and the outdated information is removed. Thus the Register shows the current property owner and the current mortgages, and no direct details of prior ownerships or prior mortgages.
Prior copies of the Title Register are available back to April 1993 for persons interested in discovering previous ownerships and other prior entries in the register. Such editions of the register are known as Historical Editions.
Prior copies are available by ordering the History Search.
Whenever an application is made to change the register an entry is made by HM Land Registry in the Day List. This is a list of pending applications and records applications such as:
- Registration of a new purchase
- Registration of a new mortgage
- An official search with priority
Entries in the day list will be removed once the register has been updated.
Whenever a title register search is carried out the Day List should also be searched. When the title register is sent to a customer any entries appearing in the day list will also be sent. This may be of particular relevance where the property has recently been sold but has not yet been updated with the purchaser's details.
The Land Registry strive to make changes to the register as quickly as possible. The length of time this may take depends on whether the property was previously registered or whether the current application will be the first registration. First time applications always take longer, particularly as the Land Registry may have to raise questions about the title with the purchaser's solicitors, or require further documents to complete the registration. Customers who know that there has been a recent purchase should wait about 12 weeks from the date of completion of the purchase before applying for an up to date copy of the title register. Rule 5 of the Land Registration Rules dictates the type of information that should be stored in the property register (Section A), which is the first section of the register.