HM Land Registry was founded in 1862. They work from 14 different locations throughout England and Wales. They deal with the ownership of land and property and they hold the details of over 25 million registered titles in England and Wales.
Their responsibilities include providing a plan of land or property to indicate boundaries together with a government backed guarantee of land title.
Anyone who takes out a mortgage or buys or sells a property must tell the Land Registry if they are:
- A new owner of registered land or property
- Hold a mortgage, right of way, lease or any other interest that effects registered land or property
- Registering land or property that hasn’t been registered before.
Therefore, all changes in ownership, mortgages or leases are recorded and held by the Land Registry according to the law.
You can get information about a property or piece of land from the Land Registry. This normally happens when you are buying or selling, or you have a dispute over a boundary.
Conveyancers contact the Land Registry to get details of The Title Summary which gives the title number of the property or land, tells the conveyancer who owns it and how much they paid for it, whether or not there is a mortgage on the property and the details of the lender.
Finally, it states whether the land or property is leasehold or freehold. Also included will be a Title Plan, which as the name suggests is a plan of the property or land with the appropriate boundaries. If you are buying or selling in an area prone to flooding the Land Registry also has a risk indicator which will tell the conveyancer how likely the property or land is to flood.
The documents also confirm to the conveyancer that the people selling property or land are the true owners. Your conveyancer has to pay a small sum for each document, which is included in conveyancing fees. The documents usually take less than a week to be delivered.
Recently the Land Registry has announced that it intends to publish a list of all conveyancers who cause delays in a purchase or sale because they don’t complete forms properly or give appropriate details about a registration. As a result of this the Land Registry has to send them what is called a requisition asking for further details and at present they say they send out over 5,000 a day, which is slowing down the whole process.
They want to bring this to the attention of conveyancers to reduce this amount and also to inform the public of those conveyancers who send in the highest volume of applications and the percentage of requisitions that are returned to them.
If you want to know who owned the property in the past to find out its age and history, you can apply to the Land Registry yourself online
. If they have them, they will send you historical Land Registry Titles so that you can find out more about the property you own.