A “summer sale” offer from the Land Registry is a bargain way of securing peace of mind, according to a Midland property law specialist.
Abigail Clark, a property solicitor at Else Commercial Solicitors, says the Government is expected to make it compulsory to register houses or land, probably by 2012.
The Land Registry has a deal currently on offer for those that get in early – 25 per cent off its standard registration fee. And Ms Clark reckons it’s a good deal.
Currently, it is not always compulsory to register land or property until it is sold or re-mortgaged, although it has been in Birmingham since 1960 and Solihull since 1972.
Across England and Wales, just over 60 per cent of land and property is recorded at the Land Registry.
Ms Clark said: “Making a voluntary application to the Land Registry brings many advantages and may give you peace of mind.
“An owner’s title to unregistered land relies on title deeds, which can be incomplete, inadequate and sometimes even lost. A registered title is maintained electronically by the state, doing away with the need for old and dusty documents.
“For example, farms which have been handed down through a family for generations may not be on the register and that can cause complications.
“Registering your property offers security as a registered title is guaranteed by the state. It gives a description of land, details of who the owner is and the obligations and rights that affect it.
“It can also help in defeating third parties obtaining squatters’ rights. Once it is registered, no one can query your title.
“Any future purchasers and their solicitors are likely to expect the land to be registered and sales of registered land should be much more straightforward and proceed more quickly.”
Land Registry fees for houses or land vary with the value of the property. Examples are: £50,000 house, £40 fee, £30 with reduction; £200,000, £150, £110; £500,000, £220, £165; and over £1 million, £700, £525.