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Registering Land or Property in England

HM Land Registry is a non-ministerial department (created in 1862) that registers the ownership of property and land in England and Wales.

This section explains how to register with HMLR for first time, the process for transferring ownership, and how to change your details on the register.

When to Register with HM Land Registry

Even though you can sell an unregistered dwelling, you need to register all land and property with HM Land Registry any time you:

  • Acquire it through an exchange.
  • Buy it.
  • Inherit it.
  • Mortgage it.
  • Receive it as a gift.

As a rule, there is no need to register leasehold land or property with no more than seven (7) years on the lease at the time you take ownership of it.

But, owning agricultural land means you would need to register land with the Rural Land Register as well as HM Land Registry.

Furthermore, owning an unmortgaged property before 1990 means it may not be registered. You can search for property information from HM Land Registry to find out.

The section below explains how to register property with HM Land Registry (HMLR) if you transfer the ownership of a registered property to another person.

What Happens after Registration?

Once you have gone through the process of registering with HM Land Registry they will go ahead and publish certain information online that people can view, including:

  • A plan showing the general boundaries of the property or land.
  • The names (or names) of the legal owners.
  • How much the owner(s) paid for the property.

This is a mandatory service. Hence, you cannot opt out of the information being published by HM Land Registry about your property.

Registering Property in Scotland or Northern Ireland

Registering Property for the First Time

It is possible for land and property to be ‘unregistered’ when you take ownership of it or you secure a mortgage on it. If so, you must make a first time registration with HM Land Registry.

Even when it is not a legal requirement, making a voluntary registration provides you with some official proof of ownership, and it:

  • Means changing, selling, or giving away your property will be an easier process in the future.
  • Helps to protect your land and property from fraud (e.g. fraudulent Land Registry changes and dishonest landlord practices).

A conveyancer or a solicitor can register land or property with HM Land Registry on your behalf. Or, follow these simple steps if you want to do it yourself:

  1. Perform a search of HM Land Registry register to check the property has not already been registered.
  2. Use application form K15 for an official search of the Land Charges Registers. The process makes a search against all previous owners since 1925 and then sends the results back to you.
  3. Fill in the application form FR1 and checklist for first registration.
  4. Prepare a scale plan that shows the outline of the land (you may need to get a copy of the deeds).
  5. Check which forms you need for the list of documents that accompany a first registration application (depends on your circumstances). Remember to fill out two (2) copies.
  6. Use HM Land Registry fee calculator to determine the correct registration fee (depending on the transaction value).
  7. Check which HM Land Registry address you need to send the documents to, forms, and current Registration Services fees.

You would need to include form TR1 to transfer an unregistered property which is to be registered for the first time if you bought the property.

But, if you inherited the property, you would need to include (either):

In some cases, the supporting documentation that you may need to send might also include:

Note: In some situations, you can request an expedite (e.g. ask HM Land Registry to fast track your application) where a delay would cause certain types of problems.

Transferring Ownership of a Property

There are several reasons why you might want to transfer ownership of your property. Typical examples include adding a partner as a joint owner or transferring it into the name of another person.

As a result, you would need to inform HM Land Registry any time you change registered owners, by:

  1. Downloading application form AP1 (e.g. to change the register).
  2. Filling in (either):
    1. Registered title(s): whole transfer (TR1),
    2. Registered title(s): part transfer (TP1).
  3. Completing form ID1 (certificate of identity for a private individual).
  4. Determining the correct fee. Use the ‘Scale 2 fees’ to transfer ownership of a property without selling it (e.g. as inheritance). Use the Land Registry fees calculator to transfer part or all of a property as an outright sale.
  5. Sending the documents, forms, and current fee to HM Land Registry address for applications (see above).

How to Update or Correct the Register

You must keep your contact details with HM Land Registry accurate and up to date. This section explains how to tell HMLR about a change in the register (e.g. updating or correcting your contact address).

Updating Contact Addresses

HM Land Registry allows you to register up to three (3) addresses per property. It can include an email address as well as non-UK addresses.

You can update the contact address of any registered owners and agents using form (COG1). There is no charge for this service.

Changing Your Name

If you change your name you will need to send notification to HM Land Registry about the changes. But, there is no charge to change your name on the register.

The documents you send to prove your name has changed will determine which process to follow. Even so, HMLR will return any official certificates that you send in after they update the register.

Use application form AP1 if you are using (any):

  • A copy of a deed poll.
  • An official or certified copy of a certificate that shows the name change (e.g. a marriage or civil partnership certificate).
  • Statement of truth.
  • A statutory declaration (e.g. a statement sworn before someone who is able to take oaths).

Unless you use a conveyancer or a solicitor to send your certificate you will need to send further proof. Hence, when sending from AP1, you should also include (both):

  • A copy of an official document showing your former name (e.g. your driver’s licence, passport, or a recent utility bill).
  • Application form ID1 (to prove the identity of your new name).

Change of Gender (CNG)

You can use form CNG to update your name as a registered owner in the land register if you have changed your gender. You would need to have a (any):

  • Gender recognition certificate (you should write ‘Private and confidential’ on the envelope).
  • New birth certificate.
  • Letter from a medical practitioner based in the United Kingdom (e.g. a doctor) that confirms you changed gender.

Send the form and relevant document to the address written on the application. Remember, you need to use the originals, they will not accept copies.

Changing Back to Your Original Surname

Some situations call for a return to an original surname (e.g. following a divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership). In this case, you should send:

  • Application form AP1.
  • A copy of the marriage certificate (or civil partnership certificate).

HM Land Registry would get in touch with you if they are going to need any further information or supporting documentation.

Stop a Previous Name Appearing on Old Documents

In general, previous names can still be seen on documents filed with HM Land Registry before making a name change.

Check out the guidance on exempting documents from the general right to inspect and copy (PG57) for further information.

Discharging a Mortgage

HM Land Registry would need to know any time an existing mortgage on a registered property gets paid off (e.g. mortgage completion).

As a rule, mortgage lenders will conduct this service by automatic process. Even so, they may ask you to fill out a ‘cancellation of entries for lenders (DS1)‘ form. Following this, send HMLR (both):

  • A confirmation of identity form (ID1).
  • An application to ‘cancel entries relating to a charge’ (DS2).

HM Land Registry
Citizen Centre
PO Box 74
GL14 9BB

Registering Land and Property in the United Kingdom