Compulsory registration of Title

Title registration with the Property Registry Authority PRA (the Land Registry) is now compulsory for Donegal. Most of the rural land in Donegal is already registered which means that the deeds are filed in the Registry and all relevant particulars pertaining to the property and its ownership are entered on folios. In conjunction with folios, the PRA /Land Registry also maintains Land Registry maps.

However, in Towns like Moville, title ownership is still under the older and limited system of registration of documents in the Registry of Deeds. This means the owner must hold their title deeds to prove ownership. To facilitate e-conveyancing, compulsory registration of title in the Land Registry was extended to all counties in Ireland as of 1 June 2011.

This means that on the sale of “unregistered” freehold land or on the grant or sale of “unregistered” leasehold land (where the unexpired residue of the term of the lease exceeds 21 years at the time of registration), solicitors for the purchasers must apply for first registration of the title in the Land Registry in accordance with the Property Registration Authority rules.

The impact of this for sellers of unregistered land will be:

  • They will need to hold a map of the property which is in compliance with Property Registration Authority mapping requirements.
  • They are likely to be asked by the purchaser’s solicitor to provide an undertaking to the purchaser on closing that, within two years of completion of the sale, they will, at the cost of the purchaser, provide any additional information which such seller is reasonably able to supply and produce any documents in his possession that may be required to effect such registration.

On a related matter, while the Land Registry have always advised that its folio mapping is not definitive, it has recently been highlighted that when digitally mapping properties, there has been at times a failure on the part of the Land Registry to indicate the boundary of a property correctly. Following completion of registration, maps should be checked for accuracy.