Land Registry

If you're buying or selling property in the UK, the change of ownership must be registered at the Land Registry, a government department that records ownership of land and property in England and Wales. Here's everything you need to know about the Land Registry and how to register property.

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What is the Land Registry?

HM Land Registry is a non-ministerial department that registers the ownership of land and property in England and Wales.

Land Registry provides property owners with a land title guaranteed by the government, as well as with a title plan that indicates the property boundaries.

Once property is entered into the register, Land Registry records any ownership changes, mortgages or leases affecting it.

Why do I need to register property at the Land Registry?

Registering your property at the Land Registry guarantees and protects your property rights. It shows evidence of ownership, protects your property from fraud and makes it easier to change or sell your property in the future.

When do I need to register property at the Land Registry?

Property must be registered at the Land Registry if it has never been registered before.

Therefore, anyone taking ownership of property (eg buying or inheriting property) or mortgaging it must apply to the Land Registry to register either:

  • ownership of an unregistered property
  • new ownership of a registered property, or
  • any interest affecting property, such as a mortgage, declarations of trust, a lease or a right of way

Which information does the Land Registry hold?

Land Registry holds records about most property in the UK, including:

  • the title register, ie the owner's name, the price paid for the property, the mortgage status
  • the title plan, ie the property boundaries
  • the title summary, which includes the lender's name and whether the property is freehold or leasehold
  • a flood risk indicator, that gives information on how likely the property is to flood

Anyone can search the register online to get information about registered property. You can search by address or by location.

If you wish to get further information about a registered property, such as its past owners, you can request a copy of the deeds at the Land Registry.

The information available at the Land Registry can be downloaded at a certain fee (‎£3 for an online copy of the title register, ‎£2.50 for an online copy of the title plan). However, you can't use these copies as an official proof of ownership. If you need to prove property ownership, you'll need to order an official copy of the register (official copies are worth ‎£7).

How to register property at the Land Registry?

Before applying at the Land Registry, search the register to make sure your property isn't already registered:

  • If the property has never been registered: you must fill in an application for first registration to register new ownership of property, and send the documents, forms and registration fee to HM Land Registry.
  • If the property is already registered: you must fill in an application to register any transfer of ownership or any interest affecting the property (such as a mortgage, a lease or a right of way). To do so, you must fill in a 'transfer of whole registered title' form, then an AP1 form to register this transfer, and send the documents, forms and registration fee to HM Land Registry.
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