Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Safe Storage of Land Certificates:

New Free Service Offered by Land Registry (Ireland)

Safe storage of land certificates is a problem for the legal profession and financial institutions. In addition to the risk of loss and misplacement of land certificates, there are also storage and maintenance overheads and handling costs. These risks were highlighted in England recently when a fire destroyed all of the land certificates of a financial institution. The ensuing cost to the institution of dealing with the lost land certificate applications must have been significant.

The Land Registry has now launched an initiative, which will enable you to avoid these risks and costs. Instead of having a new paper land certificate issued for the first time or an existing land certificate re-issued on completion of a dealing, it is possible to have the land certificate stored in the Land Registry on your behalf. No fee is payable for this service (other than the standard fee payable if a new land certificate is required for the first time) and, if the paper land certificate is subsequently required, it will be issued at no additional fee.

In order to have the land certificate held in the Land Registry to your order you must indicate this in your application. Land Certificates are dealt with at item 4 of the Land Registry Application for Registration (Incorporating Form 17) 2002 Edition. Item 4 offers two options; one is to have the land certificate “retained in the Land Registry and held to the order of —“; the other option is to have the land certificate “returned to —“. In order to have the land certificate retained and held to your order you should tick that box or complete that option on the electronic version of the application.

When a land certificate is retained in the Land Registry, a note will be entered on the folio indicating that the land certificate is held to the order of the party as indicated. No registration requiring production of the land certificate can then be made except with the written consent of the person to whose order the land certificate is held. In effect, the legal protection is exactly the same as holding a paper land certificate but, of course, without the risks or costs already mentioned.

The Land Registry has developed this initiative in response to difficulties experienced by the legal profession in dealing with land certificates. Evidence of these difficulties can be gleaned from the number of lost land certificate advertisements published in the Gazette each month. For these reasons, we would encourage the legal profession to avail of this facility.

Should you have any queries about this initiative please contact the staff in the region dealing with your particular county and they will endeavour to assist you.

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