Land Registry Proprietorship Register
The Land Registry’s register of land is made up of three sections, or registers, called the Property Register, Proprietorship Register and Charges Register. These three registers contain information as to the ownership of a particular piece of land, its extent, and any third party interests which affect it, such as mortgages, rights or covenants.
The proprietorship register tells us the legal owner(s) of the land and various other important pieces of information.
Proprietorship Register & Class of Title
Firstly, the proprietorship register tells us the “class of title” which the land is registered with. There are six classes of title, three relating to freehold land and three to leasehold land. The freehold classes are absolute, qualified or possessory and the leasehold classes are absolute, good leasehold and qualified. The best class of title to have is absolute. This means that the proprietor’s right to the land is absolute and cannot be challenged. Possessory title is at the other end of the scale. This usually happens where the person who originally applied to register the land could not prove his ownership, either because he had lost the title deeds or he was claiming ownership through adverse possession (often termed “squatters’ rights”). Possessory title can be challenged by someone with a better claim to the land.
Next we have the name(s) of the Registered Proprietor(s). These are the legal owners of the land and except in exceptional circumstances (such as if a sole owner is bankrupt, the property has been repossessed or all owners are deceased) these are the people with power to transfer the property to a new owner. There can be a maximum of four registered proprietors and a minimum of one. The date in brackets is the date on which the property was registered in the name of the current owners. This will generally be several weeks after the date on which they actually completed their purchase.
The Proprietorship Register may state the price paid by the current proprietors when they acquired the property.
Any personal covenants; they are covenants which are only binding on the current proprietor, will be detailed here. The most common personal covenant found here is an indemnity covenant.
The Proprietorship Register goes on to list any restrictions (entries which limit the way in which the proprietors can deal with the title) and bankruptcy notices.