The term `Land Registry’ is often used when property is discussed, but what does it actually mean?
We outline the role of HM Land Registry, before explaining how the Land Registry Portal operates and why it’s relevant to you.
Background to HM Land Registry
HM Land Registry was created in 1862 to protect property ownership. It registers the ownership of land and property, making it easier to buy, sell and mortgage it. The Land Registry is a non-ministerial department that works in 14 locations across England and Wales. Its mission is: `Your land and property rights; guaranteed and protected.”
It holds over 26 million property `titles’ (a term referring to the ownership of property) relating to the ownership of over 88% of the land in England and Wales. Every title registered has a unique title number for easy identification and the title to the land is guaranteed by the state. The guarantee means that if a mistake is made in the register causing the owner to suffer loss, HM Land Registry will pay compensation. The Land Registry protects land and property ownership valued at £8 trillion and enables over £1 trillion worth of personal and commercial lending to be secured across these properties. Clearly, its role is vital to supporting the economy.
The first part of the Register is the Property Register which contains a description of the land, a title plan, and details of any rights over the land such as a right of way. HM Land Registry bases its title plans on Ordnance Survey maps. With a leasehold title, the Register will include details of the lease.
The second part is the Proprietorship Register, which gives the type of title, the name, and address of the legal owner, and details of any restrictions on their ability to deal with the land. The third part is the Charges Register, containing details of registered mortgages and other financial constraints on the property.
The Land Registry’s responsibilities
- To hold a record of land and property ownership
- To provide owners with a land title that’s guaranteed by the government
- To provide a title plan of registered properties showing boundaries
You must apply to the Land Registry to register:
- Unregistered land or property: if land or property is unregistered when you buy it or mortgage it, you, or a solicitor or conveyancer, must register it for the first time to give you proof of ownership. It will also protect it from fraud and allow you to sell it in the future.
- New ownership of registered land or property.
- Any interest affecting registered land or property such as a mortgage or right of way.
When does land or property need to be registered?
If there are seven years or less on the lease when you take ownership you don’t usually have to register leasehold land or property. Agricultural land must be registered with the Rural Land Register as well as HM Land Registry. If you owned property pre-1990 it may not be registered if it’s not been mortgaged since. The Land Registry Portal allows you to check to find out whether your property is registered. Once you’ve registered information about your property it will be available to the public via the Land Registry, including the owners’ names and a boundary plan.
How long does the Land Registry take to update title deeds 2022?
Applications to update the Register with details such as a change of name or property transfer, take just over three weeks to complete: most are completed within three months.
What is the Land Registry Portal?
The Land Registry Portal is a public website that allows various alterations to be made to the Register when there is a change to property or land ownership. The portal is part of HM Land Registry’s Business e-services and its homepage has had a new look since 30th November 2022 as it moves to support digital applications and make the portal easier to use. The aim is to enable simpler navigation, quicker applications and ensure content is available easily for users.
Why is the Land Registry Portal relevant to you?
It concerns anyone:
- Buying or selling property or land
- Taking out a mortgage
- Who has inherited property
Property professionals can use the portal to:
- Make an application to update the Register with the correct information
- Submit digital applications and registrations
- Access information from HM Land Register
- Apply for searches
- Monitor application results and reply to notifications online
How to use HM Land Registry Portal
The first time you log in to the portal homepage, you need to go through a series of steps to be set up as a new user and create your own homepage. After logging in, select `Administrative Services and then choose `Create User’. You can select the shortcuts or services that you want to use. All the services in the portal can be found in the Services menu and dropdown boxes.
To start a search, log into the portal, select `Information services’ and select `Enquiry by property description’. You will be asked to enter your Customer Reference, and details of the property.
What else does HM Land Registry Portal offer?
You can use the portal’s `Search for land and property information’ facility to find out who owns a property by viewing information on the Register. There’s no charge for this and you can also find out the latest price that’s been paid for a property, read a description of the property, and identify any restrictions on the land. Free access to this information is available whether or not you own the property, by giving the address, description, and the type of ownership the property is in.
However, to get information about restrictive covenants or easements relating to the property you will need to buy the title register, which costs £3. This will also give you the title number, tell you who owns the property, the price it was last sold for, and details about the mortgage. You can obtain a title plan for a £3 fee to find out the property’s boundaries.
Other services available from HM Land Registry Portal
Its 140 services include how to:
- Work out a property boundary
- Find out if a property is at risk of flooding
- Apply for official copies of a property register or plan
- Apply to transfer a registered title
- Get official copies of documents
- Update property records when someone dies
- Register land
- Update the registered owner’s contact address
- Apply to release part of the land from a registered charge
- Access information about a registered property from title deeds
- Access searches, fees, and forms
- Search house prices
- Search for local land charges
HM Land Registry Portal access
The Land Registry Portal is available between 6.30 am -11 pm every day.
Have you used the Land Registry Portal recently?
Let us know how easy or difficult you found the site to navigate. Leave a comment in the box below.