Registry of Deeds

Find out about the Registry of Deeds, how to search the Registry and the forms required to register deeds.

Background

There has been a system of registration of documents relating to unregistered land (land which is not registered in Land Registry) since 1708. Under this system a written summary of the relevant document is lodged in the Registry of Deeds (RoD) with the original document. This summary, known as a “Memorial”, is retained in the Registry and the original document is returned to the person who lodged it.

The Registry does not guarantee that any document registered is valid or has any legal effect, it merely records the document’s existence and its priority date.

The Compulsory First Registration programme which was extended to all of Northern Ireland in 2003 will result in titles to land recorded in the Registry of Deeds migrating to the Land Register in the years ahead. This will ultimately lead to the phasing out of the Registry of Deeds.

Registry of Deeds - Index of names

 Originally based in Dublin, the Registry of Deeds (RoD) for Northern Ireland houses the records of those deeds registered since 1923.

The RoD is recorded on a Names Index. For this reason you can only search against an address from 1 January 1990. However, if you know the name of a former owner, a search against that name will show whether a deed created by that person has been registered in RoD and, if so, what property it relates to.

The RoD records from 1 January 1990 to the present date have been fully digitised and are available to search in any of our Customer Information Centres (CICs).

The options available to search after this date are:

  • search by party name, memorial number, vacate number, High Court number, Enforcement of Judgments Office number
  • search by multiple forename (for example making it possible to retrieve all records relating to a husband and wife in a single transaction)
  • view memorial and abstract information

A search certificate can be provided as verification of search results.

Searching paper records

The Names Index records from 1923 to 1989 are paper based.

The starting point for searching the paper records is the name of the Grantor. If you are looking for a transaction where you have bought a house, the Grantor will be the person who sold you the property.

It is not possible to search the paper records without the name of the Grantor of the transaction you seek.

If you do not know the name of the owner or the previous owner you may need to make further local enquiries of your own before you can carry out an effective search of the Names Index.

Alternatively a solicitor or law searcher may be able to give you further advice.

Please note that a search for paper records may only be carried out in the Public Record Office.

2 Titanic Boulevard
Titanic Quarter
Belfast
BT3 9HQ

Phone: +44 28 9053 4800

The Public Record Office opening hours for searching the registry are:

  • Monday to Thursday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm and
  • Friday from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm

You can contact Land & Property Services by clicking on the link below:

Registry of Deeds forms

To find the relevant forms for registering deeds, please click on the link below:

Fees

For more information of Registry of Deeds fees, please use the following link:


Related to Registry of Deeds

Access to information

How to request information from the Department of Finance including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

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