Unlocking The Mystery Of HM Land Registry

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Unlocking The Mystery Of HM Land Registry

Key Contact: Liz Gibbons

Author: Joshua Prior

When you’re completing your property deal and we, your solicitors, mention the Land Registry – why should you care?

Firstly, registration with HM Land Registry affords you legal rights and interests in your property. Until registered with the Land Registry, you only have a beneficial or equitable interest; these interests are okay, but they’re not as powerful as legal ones.

The Land Registry operates in accordance with the following guiding principles:

  1. Mirror Principle

The title register of each property which is maintained by the Land Registry should reflect all of the rights and burdens. There are a few interests which may override the register which may not be registered, however any solicitor worth their salt would recommend that any interest you have in a property be noted on the title register.

  1. Curtain Principle

The Land Registry provides a curtain between the legal and beneficial ownership of a property. If a property is held on trust, it is only the legal owners who would be recorded on the title register, ensuring that the beneficial owners remain protected from public scrutiny.

  1. Insurance Principle

The accuracy of each title is guaranteed by the state. If the Land Registry gets anything wrong for any reason you are able to claim compensation for any loss suffered as a result of their mistake.

Further, thanks to the digital age, you no longer need to have a stack of dusty deeds at the bottom of your desk. Nearly everything is recorded digitally at the Land Registry meaning that losing a deed is no longer such a problem.

New legislation like the Economic Crimes (Transparency and Enforcement) Act also means that the Land Registry serves a new purpose work in tandem with Companies House who ensure that we know who the ultimate beneficial owners of overseas companies are. The Land Registry plays its part to restrict any disposition by an overseas company unless they have disclosed specific information to Companies House.

If you’d like to know more about the role the Land Registry plays in your property transactions, please contact our Real Estate Team.

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