Compulsory Registration - Implications For Vendors And Purchasers

Author:Ms Jennifer Dempsey
Profession:Arthur Cox


There are two mutually exclusive systems for registering title in Ireland, the Registry of Deeds and the Land Registry, and both are now controlled and managed by the Property Registration Authority. Confusingly, land registered in the Registry of Deeds is stated to have "unregistered title" with land registered in the Land Registry having "registered title".

The most notable advantages of registering title in the Land Registry are:

the title shown on the register is guaranteed by the State. The Land Registry must indemnify any person who suffers a loss due to any registration mistake it makes. In contrast, solicitors must read title deeds to establish title to unregistered land and the expertise of the solicitor is relied upon in this respect. the title is identified by reference to a map. It is not unknown for unregistered land to have no maps with the title deeds, particularly where urban addresses are thought to sufficiently identify a property. the register is now maintained electronically and is available online. This allows instant access to certain title information and facilitates on-line searching and application filing. What is compulsory registration?

Compulsory registration is a legal requirement to register title to land in the Land Registry.

Title to land is compulsorily registrable if acquired under specific legislation, or if acquired by a statutory authority after 1 January 1967, or if the land is located in a specific area when purchased.

Where land is compulsorily registrable, title to it must be registered in the Land Registry within six months of acquisition in accordance with the Land Registry Rules.

Why is compulsory registration so topical?

The extension of compulsory registration reflects an ongoing policy on the part of successive governments to move land registration away from the limited Registry of Deeds system and towards registered title and ultimately wholly electronic conveyancing. The acceleration of compulsory registration in recent years results from the recognition by government that an efficient property registration system contributes to economic progress and competitiveness.

Prior to 2006 the only areas designated where titles to land were compulsorily registrable were the counties of Carlow, Laois and Meath. Since then, compulsory registration has been extended to all counties in the State, to include, as and from 1 June 2011, Dublin and Cork.

How does compulsory registration affect...

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