- My LS
HM Land Registry registers the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. It provides property owners with title guaranteed by the government.
Many conveyancing solicitors deal with Land Registry on an almost daily basis and may well be familiar with its role. But there are some aspects of Land Registry’s service worth discussing in more detail.
Once a property has been registered with Land Registry, your client can sign up to its free property monitoring service, Property Alert. An individual does not have to own a property to register for Property Alert, but usually it will be the registered owner.
Your client will receive an email when official searches and applications are received against the property. This can help check for signs of property fraud.
Property Alert does not block any changes made to the register but will alert your client to take action, if needed.
If you think property fraud has been committed, or you have concerns about a transaction, you can:
- call the Land Registry property fraud line on 0300 006 7030
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- report it to Action Fraud
You should also contact Land Registry immediately if you receive communications that claim to be from Land Registry, including an acknowledgement of an application, and you cannot verify the:
- client name
- application reference
Before you begin an application, Land Registry will expect you to check:
- the register, if the property is registered
- Land Registry guidance, and information in its forms
If an application is incomplete or contains errors, Land Registry will raise a requisition. This is a request for further information to complete the application.
Land Registry says that over 40% of requisitions could be avoided. This is because information is often missing, despite it being:
- clearly required from the forms used in the application
- well established by legal practice
- a standard legal requirement
Sometimes requisitions are unavoidable, for example when Land Registry asks for something unusual or unexpected.
How to avoid requisitions
Land Registry has guidance on how to avoid requisitions, including videos on the most common issues. You can avoid a requisition by:
- making sure all names and addresses are correct on the application
- obtaining consent where necessary from third parties if you’re applying for a restriction, for example lenders or managing agents
- checking any deeds have been executed correctly
Some of the most common requisitions relate to:
- restrictions in the register
- delays in Land Registry receiving discharge documents
- names varying between the register, transfer and charge
- executing deeds, and powers of attorney
Land Registry publishes data on its top 500 customers responsible for the highest number of applications.
Property in Practice magazine includes regular updates from Land Registry:
- September 2019 – Land Registry’s change programme
- March 2019 – improving requisition rates
- June 2018 – execution of deeds or documents using electronic signatures