What is Unregistered Land?

You will now only need Title Deeds if your property is unregistered. This means that the Land Registry do not have a record of your ownership of a property. If a property is unregistered, it is therefore important to keep these Deeds safe.

When you come to sell unregistered land, it can take longer for a sale to go through as there will be more documents for the solicitor to consider. If buying unregistered land, you should be patient and be prepared to wait for the Land Registry to complete the registration.

What is Registered Land?

It is now estimated that 90% of land and property within the UK is registered. In more recent years, evidence of ownership of a property is held centrally by the Land Registry in the form of a Register of the Title. A copy of this can now be accessed within seconds online.

The Land Registry introduced compulsory registration in Reading in 1962 and in South Oxfordshire in 1974. From these dates, certain transactions involving land or a property (such as a sale and purchase, mortgage or gift of the land) would trigger compulsory registration of that land with the Land Registry.

To register an area of land, all deeds and documents showing the chain of ownership of the property need be submitted to the Land Registry for them to compile a Register of the Title . Once registration is completed, you would be provided with a copy of the new Title and Plan for your safe keeping.


Recently, the Land Registry have provided a system called MapSearch. This is a free electronic mapping system for solicitors and conveyances which shows the boundaries of all registered land. This is particularly useful when issues arise concerning boundaries or, when clients have questions involving the ownership and the extent of the neighbour’s land.

Do you have any questions concerning the Title to your property? Are you thinking of selling or buying a property? If so, one of our Conveyancing team would be delighted to help.

Please contact us in our Lower Earley or Henley-on-Thames offices.