A Guide to First Registrations

What are First Registrations?

First registrations are the process in which an unregistered property becomes registered at The Land Registry. It can be thought of as the process of transferring the information contained within the original Deeds for a property to an electronic Register at The Land Registry.

There are two types of First Registration, “Compulsory” and “Voluntary”. Compulsory First Registration describes the instance whereby the First Registration of the property is triggered by another application to The Land Registry. For example, where a property is sold or transferred to another party.

Voluntary First Registration occurs when an owner decides to Register their property voluntarily.

What does the process involve?

Firstly, you will need to know whether your property is currently registered at The Land Registry. If the property hasn’t been sold since the late 80’s then there may be a chance that it’s not registered. However, if you’re unsure please give us a call and we can check this with The Land Registry for you, free of charge.

Assuming the property isn’t registered, you may choose to apply for Voluntary First Registration. There are a few stages involved in Registering a property for the first time however firstly we need to check that no part of the property has already been registered or is subject to another application. We will then review the original Title deeds to locate any necessary information referred to that needs to be sent to The Land Registry.

Once the deeds have been examined, we can start preparing the application.

What are the benefits of registering a property?

There are several advantages to having a registered title including:

Proof of ownership: Evidence of land ownership can be very easily proved with registered land as there is 24-hour access to the Land Registry database where evidence of title can be viewed.

• Security: A registered title is guaranteed by the state.

• Squatters/adverse possession: Following recent legislation it is harder to succeed in an application to dispossess a landowner of registered land than of unregistered land.

Extent of the property clearly identified: The property will be described by reference to the “Official Copy Entries” and a “Title Plan” identifying the location and boundaries of the property.

Copies held by Land Registry: If you misplace the registered “Official Copy Entries” then a duplicate can be obtained from the Land Registry for a small fee.

• Rectifying defects: As part of the registration process, issues over land ownership can be rectified by the Land Registry.

How much does it cost to register a property?

There are two main fees involved when registering a property. Firstly, there is a legal fee for the work involved in preparing and submitting the application to The Land Registry, including any expenses

incurred, and secondly, a registration fee payable directly to the Land Registry based on the current market value of the property.

On application for “Voluntary” First Registration, The Land Registry have a set scale of reduced fees as outlined below:

Table 1: Land Registry Scale 1 fees as of June 2023.

Property ValueCompulsory first registrationVoluntary first registration (reduced fee)
0 to £80,000£45£30
£80,001 to £100,000£95£70
£100,001 to £200,000£230£170
£200,001 to £500,000£330£250
£500,001 to £1,000,000£655£495
£1,000,001 and over £1,105£830

How long does the process take?

Applications for First Registration are taking upwards of two years for The Land Registry to complete so if you’re thinking of registering your property, it’s important to start the process as soon as possible.

Interested in finding out more?

AmicusLaw have a friendly, skilled team of professionals who can help guide you through the process of registering your property. Please contact us today and a member of our team will be more than happy to help.

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