Registration has been compulsory since the early 1990s; however, if your land and property have not changed ownership since this time, it may be worth checking to see if you are on the register.
Why do fraudsters target unregistered land and property?
The HM Land Registry, which records land and property as either registered or unregistered, is publicly available and can be accessed online by anyone at any time.
If your land and property are unregistered, you can become a prime target for fraudsters as it is easier for them steal your identity and then transfer your property into their own name using false documentation, leaving you to deal with the consequences.
Why register your land and property with HM Land Registry?
Although there is no obligation to register your land and property with HM Land Registry until the time they change ownership, there are advantages to voluntarily doing so before this situation arises. Upon selling the land and property, it becomes compulsory to register them, which costs 25% more in administration fees than making a voluntary application.
Once registered, all of the information regarding your land and property is available online for everyone to see, making the conveyancing process, estate administration and resolving ownership or boundary disputes simpler, faster and cheaper.
In summary, registering your land and property provides you with greater certainty and security of what you own. It can also save you time and money when moving house and reduces the risk of you becoming a victim of fraud.
For additional protection, you can also sign up to HM Land Registry’s free ‘Property Alert Service’.