Public sector organisations may be able to save significant fees and administration by proactively registering their property assets with the Land Registry.
The public sector can take advantage of an ongoing Land Registry project which aims to register all public sector land in England and Wales by the end of 2025. This can help public bodies manage their estate more efficiently, and achieve on-going disposal strategies.
The Land Registry has a strategic aim to achieve the registration of all freehold land, known as comprehensive land registration, by 2030. As at September 2019, 87% of all land in England and Wales was registered. The vast majority of unregistered land belongs to the public sector.
Two important steps on the way to achieving comprehensive land registration by 2030 are to register:
Resourcing and budgeting constraints can push voluntary registration projects down the agenda within public sector organisations. Being, by their nature, often large and diverse, it is not always straightforward for such organisations to keep track of all parcels of land ownership and property rights.
Based on these considerations the Land Registry believes there are significant areas of public sector land likely to remain unregistered indefinitely unless proactive steps are taken, hence this project.
All owners of registered land benefit from:
In addition to these advantages, there are the following potential benefits for public bodies:
The Land Registry is adopting a flexible approach for local authorities and is prepared to work with them on a project basis rather than charging separate fees for each parcel of land being registered, as would usually be the case. The Land Registry will work with public sector bodies to determine the extent of their unregistered property portfolio, and develop a registration plan going forward.
The Land Registry claims to be able to assist the public sector to register their land by:
When embarking on a voluntary registration project it’s important that you ensure you obtain good and marketable title to all of assets you own. It is imperative that you get the right advice.
We can help guide you through the voluntary registration project and be on hand to help with any estate management or disposals that arise as a result.
TLT has been advising the public sector for over 20 years. Our team work with central government, local government, blue light services and a diverse mix of other public bodies across the UK, advising across the full range of legal services from day-to-day business as usual matters through to supporting on the most complex of public projects.
We are also one of the UK's largest real estate groups and many of our real estate partners are independently recognised as leading individuals in the field by the legal industry's annual directory rankings.
Contributor: Matt Battensby
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at January 2020. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms and conditions.