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Significant benefits to be had when voluntarily registering your land

08 August 2014

We have been encouraging our clients for some time to make voluntary applications for the first registration of their property.

The Land Registry has announced that approximately 20% of all land in England and Wales remains unregistered, which amounts to just over 3 million hectares. We are working on an initiative to get this land registered as soon as possible.

Why should I register my property?

Registering your title to your property can bring significant benefits, many of which are set outbelow:

  • Registered land is far easier to deal with, meaning that any future transactions will generally be cheaper and dealt with more efficiently.
  • Registration creates a clear record of ownership, with an identifiable title plan, evidencing any matters that affect the property and making it readily marketable.
  • Registered titles are protected under a government guarantee.
  • Boundary disputes are less frequent, less costly to deal with and are more easily defeated once the title is registered.
  • Adverse possession (commonly known as squatting) claims are much easier to defeat.
  • Registered land can be valued more quickly and inexpensively.

What benefits can we provide?

Nowadays, in almost all situations where there is a change in ownership of property (including on inheritance or when trustees are changed) or the creation of a mortgage over it, registration is compulsory.

Willans has negotiated a service level agreement with the Land Registry’s Gloucester office which reduces the costs involved and the time taken for those people who wish voluntarily to register their land before compulsory registration is triggered.

The benefits of voluntary first registration and this agreement include:

  • The Land Registry fee is 30% lower than for compulsory first registration.
  • All applications will be dealt with by a dedicated team at Gloucester, with whom we have an excellent relationship, and who will liaise with us constantly throughout the registration process.
  • Your best estimate of the value of your property will be acceptable – you do not need to have it professionally valued (thereby reducing your costs).
  • You do not need to have your property accurately mapped, as the Land Registry will provide a plan to be discussed and agreed with us before completion of the registration (which will further reduce your costs).
  • We no longer need to provide copies of all documents evidencing your title to the Land Registry, thereby reducing the amount of time we need to spend preparing the application (and further reducing your costs).
  • The Land Registry team at Gloucester will aim to complete the registration within 4 weeks.

If you would like to know more about our service or the benefits of first registration, please contact the agriculture team.

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Adam Hale BA (Hons), TEP, FALA
Senior associate, solicitor
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Adam Hale
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