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‘Register’ warning to rural landowners

An expert in rural law has urged landowners to check whether their land is registered and if not, carry out a simple step to protect themselves.

Property bought and sold over the last 30 years will already be automatically registered with the Land Registry, however land that has remained in the hands of the same owners may not be registered.

Andrew Holden, head of Rural at Napthens, explained how registering land can bring with it a number of advantages.

These include: offering security against people claiming land without the owner’s knowledge and also making adverse possession claims more difficult, making sure title is electronically registered in case anything happens to the owner’s deeds, and speeding up and simplifying the conveyancing process as well as reducing costs in the future.

Andrew said: “Anybody can register their land, from residential property owners to larger scale landowners.

“The Land Registry offers a reduced fee for voluntarily registering land, and the process itself is usually straightforward and inexpensive.

“However, the benefits are very important. We’re are seeing more and more boundary disputes occur in recent years, and registering land can also protect against issues like adverse possession claims where a third party tries to claim ownership of land.

“Compulsory land registration came into force in this region at various times – but only where property is changing hands or transactions occur that affect the property such as a mortgage.

“There will be many parcels of land which have not been bought or sold and therefore may remain unregistered.”

Landowners concerned about this topic should contact their advisors for more information.

Andrew Holden, Rural Solicitor for Cumbria and Lancashire