Land Registry searches - folio, map, priority

This section contains precedents and guidelines to help you to prepare applications for registration in the Land Registry. It is aimed primarily at those who undertake registered conveyancing, such as solicitors and mortgage lenders.


The Registry provides a number of different official searches:

Folio searches (Rule 185)

An official search affecting a particular folio may be requisitioned, by lodging two copies of Precedent 8.A - Folio search for:

  • subsisting adverse acts since a certain date or
  • all entries since a certain date

An official search under Rule 185(3) to ascertain whether a matrimonial charge has been registered on a particular folio may be requisitioned by lodging two copies of: 

Searches in the registry map (Rule 186)

An official search may be requisitioned to ascertain:

  • whether the land searched against is registered land and, if so, the relevant folio number or
  • in the case of unregistered land, whether any caution against first registration has been lodged

The application should be made by lodging two copies of Precedent 8.D each accompanied by an up-to-date Ordnance Survey map on the largest scale – ideally an ACE (Address Centred Extract) map which can be obtained from the OSNI map shop – with the boundaries outlined accurately in red. A separate application should be made for each parcel of land.

Priority searches (Rule 187)

A priority search application under Section 81 may only be made where someone has contracted to purchase, take a lease of, or lend money on the security of a charge on, registered land. A priority search is not, as some practitioners appear to believe, an urgent version of a folio search. Rather it is a method by which an applicant can ensure the priority of his transaction, provided that he lodges the relevant papers within 40 days after the priority search application.

The application should be made by lodging two copies of Precedent 8.E - Priority search if the search relates to all of the land in a folio, or Precedent 8.F - Priority search on part of a folio if it relates to part of the land.


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