Registration of Title

The reason for Land Registration is to have a public record of the ownership of land; the two systems presently operating in Northern Ireland are different ways of recording that information.

1. registry of deeds

Under this system your Solicitor prepares a summary of the document transferring ownership to you and, if applicable, also of your mortgage document. The summary is retained by the registry of deeds as a record of your ownership while the actual transfer document is returned to your Solicitor to be placed with all the other Documents of Title.

2. Land registry

Here, the actual transfer deed is submitted to the Land registry and retained there. The land registry has a file for every piece of land registered there and on that file your ownership is recorded. As proof of ownership, the land registry Issues a Land Certificate which gives details of the property, the ownership and other related matters such as mortgages. After each transaction has been recorded the Land Certificate is returned to your Solicitor to be placed with the other Documents of Title.

Compulsory Registration

All of Northern Ireland is subject to compulsory registration resulting in a double registration process first in the registry of deeds and then in the Land registry which costs buyers in these areas more expense.

As far as buyers are concerned the most important difference is that the registry of deeds process is considerably cheaper but it is being phased out.

Legal content supplied by Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors.