Deeds Registration

Deeds registration is a land registration system commonly used in common law jurisdictions. While Torrens title has replaced it in many of these jurisdictions, some, like the majority of the United States, still adhere to this system. Ireland and Hong Kong have their own versions of the Torrens system, which are gradually replacing the older systems. Unlike the Torrens title system, where the person registered in a land registry as the owner of a piece of land has an indefeasible title, the deeds registration system simply records all important instructions related to the land. To establish one’s title to the land, a person (or usually their purchaser’s attorney) must verify certain details.

The execution of all title documents is done in a proper manner, ensuring that a chain of title is established. This chain represents the rightful ownership of the land, starting from the government’s grant to the current owner.

The following are major factors to consider about Deed registration. These should form as helpful tips to ensuring hasty deed registration irrespective of the lands size, features and location particular with foresight of future title or ownership transfer.

Duty to Give and Show Good Title:

In contrast to the Torrens title system, the registry serves as a repository for all documents pertaining to the land, rather than guaranteeing ownership. The designation of an individual as the “owner” on the land registry record does not automatically imply possession of a “good title,” which is a title that is secure and cannot be easily disputed. When selling or purchasing land, it is essential for the seller to provide a clear and unambiguous title to the buyer. However, if the search record is inconclusive, it may pose challenges for the seller in proving ownership, particularly in cases involving older properties or multiple encumbrances. Failure to establish a good title could potentially result in legal disputes between the parties involved.

Relief from harsh system:

The registration system for deeds may impose strict requirements on vendors, but the law does provide some relief over time. In Hong Kong, vendors typically only need to prove their title for up to 15 years prior to the sale and purchase date. Additionally, there are legislative measures in place to ease the burden on vendors. For instance, vendors can assume that any recital in a document referencing events older than 15 years is accurate. In Ireland, vendors must present a solid “root of title” (often a conveyance for value), although other instruments may also qualify. Buyers cannot demand a root of title older than 40 years, with a common practice of requiring a minimum 20-year period due to the presumption of truth in recitals of conveyances for valuable consideration that are at least 20 years old.

Changing to title registration:

In 2004, Hong Kong, being one of the few remaining jurisdictions in the common law world to uphold a deed registration system, enacted the Lands Title Ordinance. This significant legislation marks the transition of Hong Kong towards adopting the Torrens title system. The implementation of this law will be carried out gradually over a span of twelve years. Naturally, the current scenario reflects the changes brought about by this development.

Importance of Registration of Title

1. Transactions involving land can be influenced by the speed and cost-effectiveness of security measures.

2. Regularly checking the register provides a clear overview of the legal status of the land.

3. Landowners with registered titles can easily, quickly, and affordably secure loans using their land as collateral.

4. Disputes related to land are greatly minimized.

5. Landlords who are absent or beneficiaries awaiting reversion can rest assured that their rights over the land are protected.

6. The process of acquiring and holding land by small landowners is greatly simplified.

7. Individuals with limited rights over land, such as a right of way or water, are fully safeguarded.

8. Creditors who provide loans secured by land receive complete assurance of repayment.

9. The efficiency of public services and national activities related to land is significantly enhanced by the presence of an accurate and reliable map and record of all land properties in the area.

Do you need an expert to help with registration of your landed property? You can contact me today for guidance or assistance cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *