Upsides and Sunny Uplands – The Benefits of Land Registration for Rural Landowners

Land Registration

Upsides and sunny uplands – The benefits of land registration for rural landowners

Farmers will already be familiar with registering agricultural land with Defra’s Rural Payments Agency in order to be eligible for payments under the various rural payment schemes. However, registration with the Land Registry offers enormous safeguards to land and property ownership, and should be seriously considered.

Since 1990 it has been compulsory to register certain transactions with the Land Registry. Compulsory transactions vary from selling, leasing, and mortgaging property, to other interests affecting properties such as a rights of way.

This has resulted in the majority of land titles in England and Wales being registered at HM Land Registry with only a relatively small portion left unregistered. Many of these unregistered titles have been owned by the same family for generations, so have not changed hands with the same speed as many other parts of the property market.

These titles can become registered without changing hands due to a process called voluntary registration. There are numerous advantages to doing this, especially if you are a rural landowner, or own large tracts of land.

Registration at the Land Registry:

  • Means it is more difficult for squatters to claim adverse possession of your land compared to leaving your land unregistered.
  • Makes title investigations simpler where title is complex and speeds up the conveyancing process in the future.
  • Protects you in the event of loss or damage of title deeds as the Land Registry electronically holds the record.
  • Helps with defining boundaries.
  • Fraud protection – once registered it is possible to put a restriction on the title. This prevents the Land Registry from registering a sale or mortgage on your property without a conveyancer or solicitor confirming that you made the application.
  • Helps when giving away land, passing land down to future generations, or renting out land.
  • Gives a state-backed guarantee – once land is registered, the Land Registry records any ownership changes, mortgages, and leases. Anyone who suffers loss because of an error or omission in the register will normally receive compensation.

Whilst there is an upfront cost to applying for registrations, based on the value of the land, these fees are reduced for voluntary registrations. For more information about land registration or other property queries, please contact Janine Eaglesfield on 01756 692861 or email

23 February 2023