First Registration Land Registry

Amanda Neill

Solicitor (2007 Qualified) / Director
Head of Residential Property
Cheadle, 0161 428 4909
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Aaron Yeganeh
Aaron Yeganeh
I have used the conveyancing services of Anna Beavers at Mounteney Solicitors for several properties, and as have my parents. Anna is super professional and overall a great firm with fantastic customer management skills, and a real sense that Anna and the whole team is working to your best interests as a client. As I say, I am a repeat customer and have recommended the firm to several friends too.
I’ve used this solicitors a few times now for both business and personal matters. The team are really approachable and Anna and Amy have been great! Can’t recommend enough and glad to have had the support through a house move and taking on a commercial lease.
Glenn Colville
Glenn Colville
I had the delight of having Anna work for us and she did a great job. Highly recommended
Judith Clements
Judith Clements
Amanda and Katie were friendly, professional and very thorough in their handling of my sale and purchase of property. Altogether as a team of solicitors I was pleasantly surprised at their patience and availablity.
Having to sell a house after a bereavement is always going to be hard but Katie Reade at Mountney Solicitors made the whole thing effortless. She was always there if I needed anything and was just superb. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending her to anyone needing conveyancing services. Thanks Katie
Joanna Carey
Joanna Carey
Katie recently completed the sale of my great Aunt's flat. Throughout the complicated and protracted sale, Katie kept us informed at every stage. She was considerate and supportive throughout, in fact Katie saved the day on many occasions. I would have not hesitation in recommending Kate and look forward to working with her again.

Are you in the process of buying or selling an unregistered property? At Mounteney, our specialist solicitors for registering unregistered land and property can expertly guide you through the land registration process, ensuring HM Land Registry receives the correct documentation and giving you one less thing to worry about further down the line should you need to prove ownership of your property.

The government introduced a process called ‘compulsory registration’ in the 1990s, which states that all property transfers of ownership, including assets, gifts and transfers of equity, must be registered with the Land Registry within two months of the completion of a transaction. The Land Registry keeps a record of all property in England and Wales. It includes all rights benefitting a property, its legal owners, and the property rights, covenants and any charges or restrictions.

A property that has not been subject to any transaction since the change in law will likely be unregistered—at present, around 15% of UK property is unregistered. If your property is not registered with the Land Registry, it can be difficult to prove its legal owners, as there will be no central record of ownership to search.

If you already own your property and it was unregistered at the time of purchase, the law requires you to register that the sale of the property is complete. At Mounteney Solicitors, we register unregistered property as a standalone exercise or within our conveyancing service.

What is an unregistered property?

If your property is not registered at the Land Registry, it is unregistered. In this case, the only evidence of title you will have is a bundle of deeds and documents highlighting how the property has been passed from one owner to another over time. These documents can often be old and difficult to read.

How to register property

When a solicitor is managing an unregistered property, they must read through all of the documents in the bundle separately to ensure everything is on hand and that they are aware of any conditions or restrictions concerning the property. As the information will form small parts of the documents that can sometimes go unnoticed by the untrained eye, a solicitor who knows what to look for can read everything and report any concerns.

The bundle of deeds, alongside a new document transferring the property into your name, must then be sent to the Land Registry with an application for registration. Any documents with relevant information about the property, including any restrictions, will be referred to in the new title.

When a property is registered with the Land Registry, it is assigned a unique reference number. The Land Registry will provide a new document consisting only of a few pages rather than the previous large bundle. Also, all relevant information about the land will be stored on an online portal, replacing the traditional physical bundle of deeds and documentation.

Why do you need to register a property?

If your property is registered, it is much easier to show proof of ownership; this is especially important if you’re looking to sell your property. The process will be much more straightforward, allowing you to instantly find any conditions or restrictions affecting the property, as the information will be readily available from the Land Registry.

The alternative is locating the bundle of deeds first and having a solicitor read through the entire document to find the relevant information, which can cause unwanted delays.

How long does it take to register an unregistered property?

Once we begin the process, we expect to submit papers to the Land Registry within a week of taking your instructions. First registrations can take several months, depending on how busy the Land Registry is. If particular applications are urgent, we can communicate this to the Land Registry, who will cooperate upon reasonable request.

How much does it cost to register an unregistered property?

Your supplier is CLC-regulated Mounteney Conveyancers Ltd, which charges VAT that some customers may be able to reclaim.

We charge our work at a fixed fee of £900, including VAT = £1,080.

There will be additional fees charged by the Land Registry for dealing with this, determined by the current market value of your property. A typical example is a property worth £270,000, which would attract total Land Registry fees of £280.

There is more about our fees on our website here.

The benefits of registering property

Whether you’re in the process of buying or selling a property, there are numerous benefits of registering with the Land Registry, including:

  • Safety: Registering will protect your title deeds from being lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen.
  • Fraud protection: An unregistered property is at higher risk of fraud, as the fraudster could assume your identity and can sell or remortgage your property without your knowledge.
  • Storage of contact details: The Land Registry will request an address for contact in addition to the property address being registered, so if they need to contact you regarding the property for any reason, your details will be on hand, and you will not miss out on any information regarding your property that could be crucial if you’re looking to make changes to or sell it.
  • Fewer delays when selling: Having everything available on the Land Registry means there will be no absent documents or discrepancies with the deeds, so there is no risk of having to pay costs to deal with missing information.
  • Reduced costs when selling: If you voluntarily register your property with the Land Registry, there is a 25% reduction in their fees. It will also reduce your fees with a conveyancing solicitor upon sale as they will not need to review lengthy deeds and documents.

Issues with unregistered property

There are numerous risks associated with buying an unregistered property, which can slow down the sale process and increase costs:

  • Uncertain boundaries: Old title deeds often lack details like scale, North point and adjoining property boundaries. If you plan to sell, it can be costly if any plans you hold are later found to be incorrect during the registration process.
  • Adverse possession (squatter’s rights): Using unregistered land exclusively for 12 years without objection, permission or payment can lead to an Adverse Possession claim. The Land Registry must notify the legal owner, but if unknown, this can cause fraudulent claims and delays.
  • Lost title deeds: If title deeds are missing, proving ownership is challenging. A conveyancer can reconstitute the deeds, which is costly and time-consuming. A living legal owner can provide a Statement of Truth about the lost deeds, aiding in the registration and sale of unregistered land.
  • Properties passing to the Crown: If a property is unregistered and the legal owner dies, the property could pass into Crown ownership as establishing legal ownership can be extremely difficult.

Failing to register your property can expose you to these risks, complicating property transactions and potentially leading to financial losses. To avoid these issues, begin the process of registering your property today.

Contact our solicitors for unregistered property today

Mounteney Solicitors provides exceptional legal services across Manchester and Stockport. Working from our offices in Bramhall, Cheadle and Heald Green, we have an in-depth knowledge of registering property and the documents the Land Registry requires to enable a smooth and easy transaction.

Our repeat clients are a testament to the high standards we deliver. They put their trust and confidence in us to always offer the highest standards of commitment and professionalism we give each and every one of our clients, new or old.

Contact us today for expert legal guidance from a specialist team of solicitors for registering unregistered land and property. We pride ourselves on offering unsurpassed advice and services in our focus areas and delivering a clear understanding of the Land Registry registration process. We eagerly await your call.