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  • Sam Crozier

Title plan, title deeds, title register; what’s the difference?

Updated: May 13

A land registry title plan, part of the title deeds, on a screen

Understanding the documentation involved in property transactions can be challenging, especially when you're not in the legal profession or the property industry. However, it's important to know the rights and responsibilities associated with any land you are buying or selling, and there are some key documents worth familiarising yourself with.

Enter land registry title deeds. These are the documents that provide a record of property ownership and any rights or limitations involved. But are they the same as a title plan? And what about a title register? Today we're taking a look at the elements that make up these documents and the differences between them.

Land registry title deeds

Land Registry title deeds are a legal document involved in property ownership. They act as a record of who owns the property, as well as the rights and restrictions connected to it, which is vital information for various processes and transactions that may arise. These can be things like planning permissions, building regulations and boundary disputes.

Title deeds are made up of two parts; the title register (which details the property's ownership) and and the title plan (which visualises its boundaries).

You can request a copy of your title deeds if you need to check them. The Land Registry holds copies of title deeds, so it can be done on their online portal.

First, you need to download a copy of the title register. If the deeds are marked as 'filed' on the register then you can go on to submit a deeds request form using the title number from the title register. Each copy of an official document included within them (which may be several) costs £7.

Land registry title plans

A title plan, which you may come across when buying a house, is a document within the title deeds. Its purpose is to illustrate the boundaries of a freehold property or land. The plan, which will appear as a 'from above' drawing, includes a section of the Ordnance Survey Map which depicts the area around the property or land.

The property's boundaries - otherwise known as the 'extent' - will be outlined in red. Other features within the vicinity surrounding the property will be outlined in black. This is to give an understanding of the relationship between the freehold property or land, and the surroundings.

The title plan is vital in various types of property transactions, including sales and purchases, developments, and planning initiatives.

You can find out more about all things Land Registry plans in our introduction to title plans.

Land registry title register

A Land Registry title register forms part of the title deeds, and shows the ownership of a property. It includes details such as a description of the property, current and previous owners, and key legal information that impacts on the property, such as easements or restrictions.

The title register may show when a house was built, but not always - and it wont always be accurate. Most often, this information comes to be included because the first transfer of ownership from the developer, organisation or person who built it to the first 'real' owner will be listed. If your house was built before 1940, it will likely to more difficult to pinpoint a year.

A title register is made up of three parts;

  • The property register: this section, known as section A, is comprised of a property and land description, which helps to answer any questions that may arise about the property itself.

  • The proprietorship register: section B, the proprietorship register, covers the crucial element of legal ownership. It lists the registered owners (the names and addresses of the current owners of the property), as well as any beneficial owners. Beneficial owners are those who may have a say in what happens to the property, even if they are not the legal owner.

  • The charges register: the third section, section C, is one that details any charges or encumbrances on the property. This includes things like mortgages and other financial claims, as well as rights of way and other legal implications. This can help the professionals involved in property transactions understand the value and risks associated with it.

If you don't know if a property is registered and don't have Land Registry documents for it, you can check online. You can search by postcode, street or town on the Land and Property Search section of the government website. If a property is registered, it will be listed here, with the option to download up-to-date details.

What's the difference between title deeds, title plans, and title registers?

Essentially, while title deeds, title plans and title registers are not identical, they are all closely related - and all form part of a broader entity. The phrases used around the topic of property deeds can sound complicated at first, but they are not overly challenging once you become familiar with them.

Title deeds are a legal document that show ownership of a property, and these deeds are made up of the title register (the legal ownership and other significant legal details), and the title plan (the more visual document that represents the boundaries detailed in the title register).

How do you know whether you need title deeds, a title plan, or a title register?

Once you know the definitions of the various documents involved in title deeds, you should find that it is apparent if you are missing something. If your land is currently unregistered at the Land Registry and you have none of the documentation involved in doing so, you will need both elements of the title deeds; the title register, and the title plan.

If you have the register but are missing the visual representation of the property with a 'red line' boundary, it will be a title plan that you need to obtain. Of course, if you are unsure, it is always best to check with a legal professional who will be able to assist.

Land Registry compliant title plans from Lease Planners

With a deep understanding of the intricacies of title plans and Land Registry guidelines, Lease Planners ensures absolute accuracy and compliance in all title plans we provide for our customers. We aim to provide the fastest and most efficient service for drawing up and registering title plans, backed by extensive knowledge and experience.

If you would like to discuss a title plan for your property or have any questions, contact us today.

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