Date of First Registration at the Land Registry
All information appearing in the Title Register is relevant to the property and its ownership. Sometimes, however, snippets of important information have no headings and do not stand out. The Date of First Registration at the Land Registry is one such important snippet of information.
Section A of the Title Register
The first headed section of the Title Register is Section A, and this deals with details of the registered property, sufficient to identify it from other properties, even without referring to its unique Title Number.
As a general rule the first date appearing within parenthesis (brackets) in Section A is the date of First Registration. That fact is not pointed out anywhere, but it is something that all practitioners in Land Registry work are aware of, and which would be of benefit to members of the public for many reasons.
This is a sample of a typical Section A in a Title Register:
The date of First Registration is therefore 21st May 1998.
Prior Copies of the Title Register
The Title Register shows subsisting entires only, i.e. entries that no longer apply are no longer shown, e.g. following a sale the new owner is registered and the former owner is removed from registration. There is often a need for someone to identify a previous owner and therefore the Land Registry make available older editions of the Title Register, i.e. Prior Copies. These are only available back to April 1993 and only if the property is registered. In order to apply for a Prior Copy it is important to know the date of First Registration as that tells you how far back a Prior Copy can be obtained, if at all.
House Insurers usually ask you to confirm the date a property was built. As more properties become registered the easier it becomes to provide this information, which often has to be estimated. First registration became compulsory nationwide in 1990; before this it was phased in County by County. Modern properties are registered (as plots) either before or shortly after they are built and so the date of First Registration in the Title Register provides the answer to the insurers question most of the time, with the caveat that older properties may have been built long before this date. In time, however, the number of First Registration dates will be about the same as the date of the building.