Voluntary First Registration of Farmland
Our specialist Agriculture and Estates solicitors have an outstanding reputation in the East Anglian region and are on hand to assist with voluntary first registration of your farmland.
In 1925, the introduction of the Land Registration Act did not make it compulsory for every landowner to register their land but instead, it is obligatory to register on disposition (e.g., sale, re-mortgage). Currently, around 85% of land across England and Wales is registered with more than 24 million legal titles.
Landowners can voluntarily register their land where it remains unregistered and there are many benefits of doing so. These include:
Proof of Ownership
The Land Registry will provide proof of ownership and a plan that shows the general boundaries. Whilst these cannot be relied upon to prove boundary ownership, they are a useful guide in confirming the approximate boundary position. Many unregistered properties either do not have plans or they do but they are unclear.
The Land Registry will hold electronic copies of your title and other deeds. This resolves the issue of knowing who is holding your Deeds and whether these are complete. Deeds may be held by your current or a previous mortgage lender, a firm of solicitors (many of which have merged over the years) or by you/a family member and it can be a lengthy process in even tracking these down. If you lose your Deeds or any documents are destroyed, you can request a copy of these, usually for £3 per document [accurate January 2022]. If your land remains unregistered, you will need to ensure your deeds are kept in a safe place yourself to prove your title.
You will receive a class of title guaranteed by the government. This means that if a mistake occurs in the register and the owner suffers loss, the Land Registry can pay compensation.
Registering land can prevent fraud by people copying or withholding title deeds, or from a person seeking to claim they own your land by adverse possession as there is not a clear record of ownership. Once registered, the Land Registry can notify you if someone tries to fraudulently register a mortgage against or transfer your property, should you wish to enter a form of restriction on your title.
Reduced Land Registry Fee
The Land Registry fee is discounted for voluntary applications. The cost depends on the value of the property at the time of registration.
Land registration can prevent some disputes especially where these is a query over maintenance of a boundary. For example, sometimes one set of Deeds contains an obligation to repair a boundary.
It will make it easier to change, sell or give your property away in the future. This is because it will prevent delays as future buyers and/or mortgage lenders may require you to ensure the property is registered but also because there will be no time spent trying to locate the Deeds It can also reduce legal costs as dealing with unregistered land is generally more complicated and so undertaking a voluntary first registration now, can save costs in the future.
When registered, the Land Registry maintains a record of ownership changes, overages, mortgages, easements, and leases on your property.
How Do I Register My Land?
You can register your land yourself, but many choose to use a solicitor to do it on their behalf as it can be a complicated and time-consuming process.
Our highly regarded and experienced agricultural solicitors can assist with the registration of your farmland or further discuss the benefits of doing so with you.
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