Should I register my house deeds? What does it mean?
In 2003, the system of land registration in England and Wales radically changed to pave the way for the introduction of electronic conveyancing. You own your property, but, either the Land Registry will hold details of the property and your ownership on its computer system, or, it will not. If it does, your property is known as “registered” land. If it does not, your property is termed “unregistered” land.
If no transactions have taken place in relation to your property for approximately forty years or more e.g. your purchase of it, or taking out a mortgage against it, then it may be unregistered. Further, it will remain unregistered until such time a transaction takes place.
If a property is registered, the information contained in your deeds, including proof of your ownership, will be held on the Land Registry’s computer system. If it is unregistered, proof of ownership is solely the title deeds themselves. This is why it is very important that these are kept in a safe place. If these are lost or destroyed, it could be difficult and costly to prove that you own your own property. It can also be the case that, as plans were less detailed years ago, the deeds may not clearly identify where the boundaries of your property now lie. If this is the case, this and any other discrepancies in your deeds, can cause delay at the time of any future sale of the property by you, or later on by your Executors.
The Land Registry encourages voluntary registration. Wolferstans can check and register your deeds for you.
If you require advice on any property-related matter, please get in touch with our experts, who would love to assist.