Land Registry was established in 1892 and maintains a record of map based land registrations in Northern Ireland. The Registry does not merely provide a mechanical registration system, it actually guarantees the validity of the legal title.
Each title has its own unique number known as the Folio Number.
The Folio Number:
- describes the property
- records who owns the property
- gives details of encumbrances such as mortgages or rights that may affect the property adversely
The Land Registry also produces a title plan, showing the location and extent of the land or property’s legal boundary. The plan does not normally show who owns the boundary features.
Why you should register land
The aim of registering title to land is to create and maintain a register of landowners whose title is guaranteed by the state - basically making the transfer and mortgaging of land easier.
When is registration compulsory?
When there is a sale of property within Northern Ireland (whether by conveyance, assignment or lease) the title must be registered in the Land Registry.
When is registration not compulsory?
Registration is not compulsory in the following circumstances:
- transactions where no money consideration is paid (for example gifts, Assents, etc.)
- mortgages and Charging Orders
- leases for a term not exceeding 21 years
- exchanges or partitions of land, provided there is no monetary consideration
- surrenders of leases
Find out more about Compulsory First Registration.
Advantages of registering land
- legal title is guaranteed and a location plan of the extent of ownership is created for reference
- an up-to-date public record of ownership is created
- rights of way are clearly identified
- covenants and mortgages are recorded
- risk of fraud is greatly reduced
- simple forms replace complicated deeds
- repeated examination of title deeds is unnecessary
- disputes can be resolved more easily
Search the Land Registry
A member of staff in one of the Customer Information Centres (CIC) will assist you to view the Land Registry map to identify if the land is registered. In most cases an address is sufficient to locate the property though it may be helpful to bring a map showing nearby landmarks and road names if you think there may be any ambiguity.
If the land is registered you can view the folio details on screen. This will show the current registered owner and any rights or charges that affect the folio. You may also see historical details of previous owners, rights and charges back to the date of first registration with the Land Register.
If your search shows that the land you are interested in is unregistered land, there will be no information available from the Land Registry records. You will then need to consider a search of the Registry of Deeds records.
Find more information about the Registry of Deeds and the procedure for searching that registry.
Additional information about burdens that may affect land can be found in the Statutory Charges Register.
Land registration forms and Solicitors certificates (Precedents)
To find the relevant forms to register land and solicitors certificates, please click on the links below:
Index to the Land Registry rules
Find out more about the Land Registry rules that apply and where they can be found in the legislation by clicking on the link below:
The Land Registry is a Statutory Body. The main legislation governing its functions are:
- The Local Registration of Title (Ireland) Act 1891
- The Land Registration Act (NI) 1970
- The Registration of Deeds Act (NI) 1970
- The Registration (Land and Deeds) Order NI 1992
- The Land Registration Rules (NI) 1994 (as amended)
- The Compulsory Registration of Title Order (Northern Ireland) 1995
- Compulsory Registration of Title Order (Northern Ireland) 1999
- Compulsory Registration of Title Order (Northern Ireland) 2000
- The Land Registration (Amendment) Rules NI 2000
- The Ground Rents Act (NI) 2001
- Compulsory Registration of Title Order (Northern Ireland) 2001
- Compulsory Registration of Title Order (Northern Ireland) 2002
- Compulsory Registration of Title (No. 2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2002
- The Land Registration (Amendment) Rules NI 2002
- The Land Registration (Amendment) Rules NI 2007
- The Land Registration (Amendment) Rules NI 2011
- The Electronic Registration (NI) Order 2011
For more information on Land Registry fees, please use the link below:
Please click on the link to view the Land Registration publications.