Is your land registered? If not, can this really cause you problems? You probably haven’t given much thought to the importance of land registration, but did you know that having unregistered land can leave you at increased risk of fraud and cause issues with inheritance?
If you have owned your land since 1990 or before and have not taken out a mortgage since, there is a chance that your land is unregistered.
Traditionally all land in England and Wales was unregistered and the owners of land would keep a bundle of documents and deeds to prove their ownership. The government had tried to overhaul the traditional conveyancing system with the introduction of the Law of Property Act 1925 and the Land Registration Act 1925 which updated previous laws and encouraged voluntary registration of land.
This system largely stood until 1990 when compulsory registration was bought in with any sale of land and this was expanded further in 2002 to require registration for all inherited, gifted or mortgaged land. This has been a partial success, Land Registry data from 2016 showed that 17% of all land in the UK had not yet been registered.
Because of this the Land Registry is stepping up its efforts to encourage everyone to make sure that their land is registered. Many people may not see the need to register their land, especially with property that has been handed down through the generations within the same family but registration will bring you significant advantages.
Significantly, the Land Registry is currently offering a discount on the cost of voluntary land registration. This discount will not be applied in the case of compulsory registration which is required when the land is gifted, mortgaged or sold. Having your land registered will also simplify the conveyancing process which should further reduce your costs if you do decide to sell or mortgage the land.
There is also the risk that the government may bring in mandatory registration in the future. If this happens they are unlikely to offer a discount on registration fees and may even raise them significantly.
Fraser Dawbarns have a range of experts who are able to advise or assist you with land registration. For further help with this issue, contact us today to see how we can help you register your land and provide you with peace of mind and security.
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