There are two mutually exclusive systems for the registration of title in Ireland – the registration of documents in the Registry of Deeds and the registration of title in the Land Registry, both under the control and management of the Property Registration Authority. Property registered in the Registry of Deeds is said to be “unregistered” and property registered in the Land Registry “registered”.
When title is registered in the Land Registry, the deeds are filed in the Registry and all relevant particulars pertaining to the property and its ownership are entered on folios which forms the register maintained in the Land Registry. The title shown on the folios is guaranteed by the State which is bound to indemnify any person who suffers a loss through a mistake made by the Land Registry. In conjunction with folios, the Land Registry also maintains Land Registry maps.
As part of an ongoing and continuous move away from the older and limited system of registration of documents in the Registry of Deeds and so as to facilitate e-conveyancing, compulsory registration of title in the Land Registry has now been extended to all counties in Ireland as of 1 June 2011 with the latest extension recently being made to the counties and cities of Dublin and Cork.
This will mean that as of 1 June 2011 on the sale of “unregistered” freehold land or on the grant or sale of “unregistered” leasehold land (where the unexpired residue of the term of the lease exceeds 21 years at the time of registration), solicitors for the purchasers must apply for first registration of the title in the Land Registry in accordance with the Property Registration Authority rules. The impact of this for sellers of unregistered land will be:
- They will need to hold a map of the property which is in compliance with Property Registration Authority mapping requirements.
- They are likely to be asked by the purchaser’s solicitor to provide an undertaking to the purchaser on closing that, within two years of completion of the sale, they will, at the cost of the purchaser, provide any additional information which such seller is reasonably able to supply and produce any documents in his possession that may be required to effect such registration.
On a related matter, while the Land Registry have always advised that its folio mapping is not definitive, it has recently been highlighted that when digitally mapping properties, there has been at times a failure on the part of the Land Registry to indicate the boundary of a property correctly. Following completion of registration, maps should be checked for accuracy.
Contributed by Tara Rush, Andrew Muckian.