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The aim of registered title to land is to create and maintain a register of landowners whose title is guaranteed by the state. Registration should make the transfer and mortgaging of land easier and is now compulsory following the sale, assent or mortgage of land. The Land Registration Act 2002 introduced electronic conveyancing as a replacement for the traditional paper-based procedure; the aim is to exploit the potential of an electronic system and eliminating defects in the present law.
An important change is the introduction of new arrangements concerning adverse possession for registered land. The effect of this new regime will be to make registered land virtually squatter-proof. In addition to straightforward landholdings themselves, the number of dispositions and interests capable of registration has also increased with the aim of providing as complete a picture on the Register as possible.
Matters capable of registration now include:
The compulsory requirement to register leases of 7 years or more is likely to have the biggest impact on property management and in time it is probable that there will be compulsory registration of leases of 3 years and over. Dealings with leases are the most common type of property transaction and this new requirement has attracted criticism, as it will inevitably involve more bureaucracy and increased costs. However, the Government's view is that the advantage of a more transparent system will outweigh the extra work and expense.
The Act points out that in line with the objective of ensuring the Register shows a full picture of any registered title, the number of overriding interests, to which property is subject to, will be reduced and some are to lose their overriding status after 10 years. For the first time, overriding interests are to be treated differently on first registration and on subsequent dealings. There are a number of changes to Third Party interests as well as changes to cautions and inhibitions.
The Act will allow increased rights of access to the documents relating to a registered title, so far as the Land Registry has the information, and will permit inspection of leases and charges. These are accessible on-line for a small charge.
Points of contact:-
LAND REGISTRY WEBSITE: www.landreg.gov.uk
PROPERTY INFORMATION CENTRE: 0151-473-6010 or email@example.com