What are the Title Deeds in Registered and Unregistered Land
Updated: Sep 17
Title Deeds in Registered Land
The majority of land in England and Wales is now registered. In
1990, it became mandatory to register land after completion of transactions such as a sale. The official register serves as evidence of legal title, so traditional title deeds are no longer necessary for sales, transfers, and mortgages.
In order to determine the registration status of a property or multiple properties within a specific area, conducting an index map search can be highly beneficial. An index map search involves examining a map that displays the boundaries of registered land and corresponding title numbers. By utilising this search, individuals can conveniently verify whether a property or all properties in a particular area have been registered with a title number. This information can be invaluable when assessing the registration status of properties and can provide valuable insights for various purposes, such as due diligence, property transactions, or conducting comprehensive land research.
When land is registered, the title deeds consist of the Official Copies of the registered title, the Title Plan, and any other documents mentioned in the register, such as an old conveyance. The Title Register is a formal record of the legal title to the property and includes:
Property register: Defines and describes the property, address, and rights, including rights of way and leases.
Proprietorship register: Lists the owner (the "Registered Proprietor"), class of title, and notices affecting the owner's rights.
Charges register: Contains charges such as mortgages and third-party rights affecting the owner's rights.
The Title Plan shows the boundaries of the property and other information to identify the legal title. It is important to carefully read the wording of the Property Register to understand the extent of the property and the Proprietorship and Charges Registers to know any restrictions and charges affecting the property.
Title Deeds in Unregistered Land
In unregistered land, title deeds are comprised of separate documents like conveyances, easement deeds, probate grants, death certificates, leases, and memorandum of sale. A set of these title deeds showing an unbroken chain of ownership is known as an Epitome of Title.
The individual title deeds include:
Conveyance: A legal deed transferring legal ownership of the property.
Deeds of easement: A formal legal document granting rights of way over another owner's property.
Mortgage deed: A legal document evidencing a financial loan secured on the land.
Lease: An agreement between landlord and tenant for occupation of the landlord's property for a specified time in exchange for rent, services charges, or premium.
If you are unsure about property registration, at Land Registry Online, we offer a Title Register and Title Plan service that allows you to easily obtain this information. Simply select the desired documents, complete your details, and you will receive your documents by email within a few hours.