Home > Ordering & Buying Land Registry Documents

Thanks to the Land Registration Act 2002 and its predecessor the Land Registration Act 1925 it is now compulsory when land in England and Wales changes hands or is mortgaged to register the land with the Land Registry, the government department responsible for maintaining records of land ownership and interests in land. If the land is already registered as a result of a previous transaction, the change of ownership (or new interest created) must be registered in order for it to have legal effect.

The effect of land registration is that where land is registered, ownership is proved not by producing the title deeds but by showing that you are the person named on the register of title for the land as the “registered proprietor”. Similarly, to prove that he has an interest in a particular piece of registered land, a person must show that his interest is noted on the register (though there are some exceptions, where interests which are not registered can still be legally binding).

Public Access to Land Registry Records

With a few exceptions, information held by the Land Registry is open to the public therefore it is possible for anyone, such as a neighbour or a potential buyer, to obtain details of the current owner, the price they paid, the extent of the boundaries and what mortgages are secured on the property (though not the amounts borrowed or owed). As well as the information contained in the register of title, further information can be found in supporting documents such as leases, conveyances and transfers. These documents contains things like rights of way to use services, covenants etc.

Accessing Land Registry Information

There are a number of ways in which the general public can access Land Registry information and obtain Land Registry documents. A visit can be made to the regional Land Registry office which deals with the property and the register and associated documents can inspected. An appointment may be required and the office may be some distance from the property. As is the case however the information is accessed, a fee will be payable.

Documents can be requested through the post by downloading, printing, completing and posting the appropriate request form together with a cheque for payment. The document will then be posted. This can be quite a slow process however and postal applications are generally around twice as expensive as electronic applications.

A Register View, which is a copy of the register title containing all of the information contained in an Official Copy can be downloaded by any member of the public using the “Find a Property Service” though it should be noted that a Register View is not admissible as evidence of the contents of the register and as such is not suitable for use in a conveyancing transaction. A copy of the title plan can also be obtained in this way

The The fourth option is to request documents electronically via the Land Registry’s portal service.

Ordering Land Registry Documents Electronically

The Land Registry offers electronic access to documents via its “Portal” service. Although the service is not available to the general public, there are a number of third party suppliers of documents on the market, who act as intermediaries between the Land Registry and the public, obtaining documents for their clients in return for a fee.

There are a number of advantages to using a third party supplier. Documents can usually be downloaded instantly by the supplier and as they are delivered in electronic (pdf) document format they can be emailed to the clients so not only is delivery much quicker than a postal application, the purchaser has an electronic document which in electronic form is admissible as a true copy of the original held by Land Registry. The purchaser can therefore print as many copies as he needs without ever paying more than the one fee and can if he wishes pass the document on, for example to an estate agent, solicitor or purchaser of his property electronically.

The best third party suppliers of Land Registry documents have an easy to use interface so that ordering is much easier that by postal application. Land-Registry-Documents.co.uk not only has a simple, user-friendly interface but there is no registration required, delivery is generally within 24 hours and we are probably the cheapest supplier on the market.

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