HM land registry

The Land Registry is the government authority responsible for recording interests in registered land and reports to the Ministry of Justice. It records the ownership rights of freehold properties and leasehold properties where the lease has been granted for a term exceeding seven years.

The Land Registry encourages property owners who own property that is not registered to make voluntary applications for registration. There are over 20,000,000 registered properties in England and Wales, but this is still under three-quarters of the total land mass. Registration of land gives property owners some protection against squatters as well as avoiding the need to produce old deeds and documents each time a property changes hands.

During a Land Registry Priority Search, your property lawyer checks up to date records held by HM land registry to see that no one has lodged any rights or interests in the property since they checked the sellers right to sell. The cost of this is included in your In-Deed quote.