If it is, you can check with the Land Registry and obtain your title number. We would advise you to check the title document and accompanying plan carefully to be sure that it seems to be in order.If you think it is unregistered, we can check with the Land Registry to obtain a map of the area which shows all registered land. The gaps are unregistered
Voluntary Registration of Land
Since December 1990 it has been compulsory to register land and property with the Land Registry when it is sold, transferred or leased for more than 7 years.
According to the Land Registry, over 85% of land in England and Wales is registered. Much of the remaining unregistered land includes large estates owned by the Crown or Church. There are also many houses and farms still in family ownership which might not be registered until someone moves on.
There are also lots of pockets of unregistered land. This might be because ownership of this land has not been claimed by anyone, or it might be because errors have been made when adjoining land has been registered.
This can be a particular problem with fields in rural areas, or in towns where there are yards and lanes between properties which appear not to be registered to anyone.
If you believe that you own land which has not been registered, your title is potentially less secure. A neighbour might try to claim that the land belongs to them, particularly if they have used it, or fenced it off. These are known as “adverse possession” claims and are easier to defend if the land is already registered.Registration also helps the Land Registry to fight property fraud
Even if you are not looking to sell unregistered land in the near future, it is possible to apply for Voluntary Registration now, to ensure that your title is in order before you come to sell. Not only will this make things quicker and easier when you do come to sell, it can also identify any problems now and protect you against adverse possession claims.
Further, the Land Registry Fee is less for Voluntary First Registration, than it is for Compulsory First Registration.
Contact one of our helpful property lawyers for advice. If we think you need to apply for Voluntary First Registration, then we will explain the process and costs involved.
You will need to provide us with your paper Title Deeds.
Even if your land is registered, you might find that there are errors, for example the plan does not match the land “on the ground” that you think you own. If so, we can help to try and put things right. It may be that you need to apply for First Registration of part of the land, or possibly Adverse Possession.