Property Disputes specialist Oliver Thorp explains how to correct mistakes at the Land Registry.
Contact Oliver on 01225 462871, or submit the Contact Form below.
My title deeds are wrong
Every year, the Land Registry registers millions of property transactions. It’s not surprising then that errors find their way into the Official Copy of the Register or Title Plan. It might be a simple clerical error that initially went unnoticed or a mistake that changes the legal interpretation or consequences of the deed.
Often, mistakes go unnoticed until the next transaction involving the property, possibly many years later. Your conveyancing solicitor will check the Official Copies very carefully to identify any errors. Among recent examples we have identified are:
- an incorrect property address;
- a spelling mistake in a name;
- the omission of a right of way;
- the omission of a restrictive covenant;
- an error on the Title Plan.
Errors noticed before registration
An error noticed before registration is amended simply by all parties signing the amendment.
Errors noticed after registration
There is an online process for reporting simple and uncontentious errors noticed following registration. The form allows the uploading of supporting documents.
In many cases, requests for amendment are simply reviewed and actioned. However, if the error is more complex, the Land Registry caseworker may request further information or ask the applicant to submit a formal application.
Errors affecting other registered proprietors
Usually, the Land Registry will only amend an error in the register that prejudicially affects the title of another registered proprietor with their consent. They will contact the other party, putting them on notice of the request, who then has fifteen working days to respond unless they request more time. If the other party objects to the amendment, the Land Registry cannot amend the register pending dispute resolution unless their objection is entirely groundless.
In the first instance, the Land Registry encourage dialogue between the parties to reach an agreement. If that is unsuccessful, they refer the matter to the Land Registration Division of the Property Chamber (First-tier Tribunal). This step has cost implications for both parties, so reaching an agreement is often preferable.
Errors resulting in financial loss
If an error in the register has resulted in financial loss, the Land Registration Act 2002 contains a provision for the affected party to claim compensation from the Land Registry. For example, perhaps the mistake in the register led to a sale of their property falling through, resulting in abortive sale costs. Or maybe a mortgage lender’s charge has been erroneously removed from the register, resulting in the property’s sale without the redemption of the mortgage.
You have six years to make a financial claim against the Land Registry. But, understandably, if the cause of the erroneous entry, partly or entirely, was a lack of proper care by the applicant or their solicitor when applying for registration, the claim against the Land Registry may not succeed.