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  • Sam Crozier

An introduction to Land Registry Title Plans: everything you need to know

Updated: Apr 29

Title plans are an essential component in property ownership documentation - but what exactly are they? If you're not familiar with what's involved but you've been told that you need one, it's not unusual to have questions.

We've been providing Land Registry title plans for many years and have come to understand all there is to know about this topic. We've rounded up some of the questions you might need answers for if you think you need a Land Registry title plan in our introductory guide.

What is a title plan?

A title plan is an official document that provides a visual representation of the boundaries of a freehold property or land. It is important when when buying, selling or developing a property - so is something most often encountered in property transactions or planning developments.

It will consist of a portion of the Ordnance Survey Map from the area around the property in question, with key features from that area shown with black outlines and the extent of the property (the boundaries) shown with a red outline.

The title plan should be viewed in conjunction with the property register document, which is a written description of the registered estate. Together, the title plan and the title register form the property’s title deeds.

Each property is given a unique reference number (title number), which connects the title plan and title register, plus any other documents that are part of its deeds

In the context of title deeds, you may sometimes see the title plan referred to as the ‘filed plan’.

What is the difference between a title plan and a lease plan?

A title plan and a lease plan are not the same thing; while they both depict the boundaries of properties, they are for use in different circumstances. Title plans relate to freehold properties, and lease plans are for leasehold properties.

Title plans are generally somewhat less detailed, as they concern the legal boundaries and external footprint, whereas lease plans are more likely to include further detail of the internal configuration of the property.

Is a title plan a legal document?

Land Registry title deeds are a legal document comprised of the title register and the title plan; these are requirements under rule 5 of the Land Registration Rules 2003. As the title plan is the key component for showing the legal boundaries of the property, it's best to think of it as part of a broader legal document.

How do I get my title plan?

If you don't have a copy of the title plan for your property, you can request an official copy with the Land Registry by visiting their portal. You will need to enter either the title number, if you know it, or the property details.

If your property doesn't have a title plan already, or you need a new one, you can get one made by a professional; inaccurate or non-compliant title plans will be rejected, so it's worth choosing a supplier carefully. Lease Planners have been producing Land Registry title plans for many years and we're proud of our extremely high compliance rate.

How often do Land Registry update title plans?

Once a title plan has been prepared it will not be replaced as a matter of course, so there is no average or standard timeframe in which title plans are updated.

Title plans are prepared using the latest Ordnance Survey map at the time, but do not automatically need to be updated when new Ordnance Survey information is made available. However, when activity on the title (the property or land) makes it necessary to update the title plan, it may also be updated with new Ordnance Survey mapping information.

What is an official copy of a title plan?

An 'official copy' of a title plan is a certified copy that has been obtained from the Land Registry, representing the one they actually have in their records for that title at a given moment in time.

Mostly these will be digital copies, or at least digitally stored copies of what were once title plans on paper. You may also hear the phrase 'canister title plan', which is used to refer to title plans for old registered titles that exist in paper form only, due to being too large to be scanned.

What does a title plan include?

A title plan typically includes a map or drawing - which will be of an area from an Ordnance Survey Map - with the boundaries of a registered property or estate marked, as well as any key feature of the area, rights of way, easements or restrictions. The elements that will be included are:

  • Property boundaries: a red line will show the property boundaries, also known as the extent.

  • Scale and orientation: a scale is noted in order to better understand the property's size, as well as a north point so as to depict the orientation of the property.

  • Physical features: to place the property in the context of its surroundings, distinguishing attributes of the area such as buildings, roads, walls and even trees are depicted.

  • Representative markings: different colours, markings and hatched shadings on the title plan will represent various areas, rights, restrictions or easements.

What does a title plan show at the land registry?

For the land registry, the title plan identifies the extent of the land in the registered title, and supports the property description (otherwise known as the property register).

A title plan can also show how the property or land is affected by any entries in the register. These are things like easements (legal rights that allow someone other than the property owner to use a portion of the property for a specific purpose), covenants (agreements related to land use and ownership) and restrictions.

Does a title plan show fence ownership?

A title plan may show ownership of fences or other divides between two properties. Where these boundaries occur, ownership is marked by a symbol that looks like a T; the side of the boundary that this symbol is shown on indicates ownership. When the symbol is marked on both sides, you have joint ownership.

Why would I need a title plan?

There are several reasons that you might need a title plan:

  • You own a freehold property and are in need of a document to deduce where your land begins and ends

  • Your land or part of your land is currently unregistered at Land Registry, and you require a title plan to register it officially

  • You are splitting your overall title into multiple titles to enable you to sell or develop parcels of land; for example, if you have built houses on your land and they all need to be on their own titles

  • You are buying or selling a freehold property and require a title plan to clarify the boundaries and features of the land included

  • You need to resolve a boundary dispute that is proving difficult to straighten out with the Land Registry data alone

  • You need to secure financing for a property from a lender and they require the title plan to ensure the property's value and boundaries have been accurately reflected

Do you get a title plan when you buy a house?

When you buy a house you will typically receive a title plan as part of the conveyancing process; it forms part of the documentation for the property transaction. This ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of what is included in the sale. This is why you may require one for an upcoming transaction.

How long does it take to get a title plan?

Title plans tend to be fairly quick to prepare, and will generally take somewhere in the region of 1-2 weeks. The exact timeframe will depend on the provider you choose, and whether the work is straightforward or comes with challenges. If you need your title plan extremely quickly - in a matter of days, for example - there's no need to worry too much. In our experience you will very likely find you are able to get it done in time.

At Lease Planners, the process takes around a week. This is made up of a visit and checks carried out within 2-3 days of booking, then the complete CAD production and drafted documents being sent across over the following 2-3 days. We're always happy to move quickly when we can, so if you have a tight timeframe in mind, get in touch and we'll see what we can do.

How much does a title plan cost?

Title plans can vary in cost, not just based on the supplier that you choose, but also on the property and the necessary steps required to get the correct details to work from. Prices will usually start at around £200 - £300.

Factors that can affect the price include whether the plan is for residential or commercial purposes, and whether an in-person survey is required or if instead you are in a position to supply the required details yourself for a professional to work from.

A title plan must be compliant with Land Registry guidelines to be accepted, so it is incredibly important to work with an expert in order to avoid costing you in wasted money and time.

Get a Land Registry compliant title plan

With a deep understanding of the complexities involved in title plans and Land Registry guidelines, Lease Planners guarantee complete accuracy and compliance every time. We have considerable experience in the field and our team are second-to-none in terms of knowledge and professionalism.

Property documentation can be intimidating when you aren't familiar with the process, so we also make sure to keep things straightforward and transparent.

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

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