The Land Registry
By equity2010 | Thursday, June 28, 2012, 21:27
The feeble have sought to delete free communication and so forward into the breach once more:
Land Registry (officially known under the Land Registration Act 2002 as Her Majesty's Land Registry) is an executive agency (since 1990) of the Government of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1862 to register the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. It used to report to the Ministry of Justice, but on 18 July 2011 responsibility was transferred to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. In 2012 the department celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Like land registration organisations in other countries, Land Registry guarantees title to registered estates and interests in land. It records the ownership rights of freehold properties, and leasehold properties where the lease has been granted for a term exceeding seven years.
The definition of land can include the buildings situated upon the land, particularly where parts of buildings at different levels (such as flats) are in different ownership. It is also possible to register the ownership of the mines and minerals which lie within the ground as well as airspace above property where this is in separate ownership.
Land Registry receives no government funding, being required to ensure that its income covers expenditure, and finances itself from registration and search fees. It provides online access to its database of titles (ownership and charges or interests by other parties) and most plans (maps). People need to pay a fee to access the information.
Property owners whose property is not registered can make voluntary applications for registration. As of October 2011, there are over 23 million registered titles representing 77.5% of the land mass of England and Wales. Much of the remaining unregistered land is rural property in the hands of large institutional landowners such as the Church of England, educational institutions and the Crown. Registration of land under the
Land Registration Act 2002 affords property owners some protection against squatters as well as avoiding the need to produce old documents each time a property changes hands.