There are two systems for the registration of property title in Ireland, namely the Registry of Deeds and the Land Registry. The Registry of Deeds was established in 1707 to provide a system of voluntary registration for Deeds, affecting land and giving priority to registered Deeds over unregistered Deeds. The primary function of the Registry of Deeds is to provide a system of recording the existence of Deeds affecting what is commonly referred to as “Unregistered Property”.
The Land Registry was established in 1892 to provide a more comprehensive and secure system of Land Registry. When title to a property is registered in the Land Registry, the Deeds are filed and all relevant details concerning the property are recorded on Folios. The Land Registry maintains and is responsible for these Folios. Property registered in the Land Registry is commonly referred to as “Registered Property”. The Land Registry also maintains Land Registry Maps. Both the Folios and Maps are now available in electronic form. The title shown on a Land Registry Folio is guaranteed by the State, which means that the Land Registry is bound to indemnify any person who suffers loss as a result of any mistake made by the Land Registry.
Both the Registry of Deeds and the Land Registry are under the control and management of the Property Registration Authority. Since the late 1960s, there has been an ongoing and continuous move away from the older Registry of Deeds system in favour of the Land Registry. This has been facilitated by the introduction of compulsory registration of all titles in the Land Registry on a phased basis. From the 1stJune 2011, compulsory registration has been extended to all Counties in Ireland.
The implication of compulsory registration is that any Unregistered Property purchased in Ireland since 1st June 2011, is subject to compulsory First Registration of the title in the Land Registry in accordance with Property Registration Authority Rules.
The consequences for Vendors of unregistered property are that:-
- Vendors must provide an Ordnance Survey Map suitable for Property Registration Authority Mapping requirements;
- Vendors may be required by the Purchasers’ solicitors 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 they are reasonably able to supply and produce any documents in their possession that may be required to effect such registration.
The benefits of Land Registry title are as follows:-
- The Title is guaranteed by the State.
- The State will indemnify anyone who suffers a loss as a result of a mistake made by the Land Registry.
- Evidence of title and ownership is contained in a single document, which contains a map that is drawn to Ordnance Survey standards.
- Title details and property information is now available on-line.