How to find out ownership details of property and land

By registering title to land in Northern Ireland, there is a register of landowners whose title is guaranteed by the state. This information is important when transferring or mortgaging land.

Records and information about land

Land & Property Services (LPS) holds three registries:

  • Land Registry records map-based registrations in Northern Ireland and guarantees legal title
  • Registry of Deeds registers documents for unregistered land
  • Statutory Charges Register records certain restrictions or conditions affecting a property 

The benefits of registering property or land are

  • you can look at the register or title plan of a property you own
  • you can find out who owns a specific property
  • you can discover the extent of a property
  • you can identify and approach the owner of an empty property you are interested in buying
  • you can contact the landlord of a property you lease or rent

Land Registry

Land Registry guarantees the validity of a property's legal title.  

Each title a has unique Folio Number which:

  • describes the property
  • records who owns the property
  • gives details of mortgages or rights that may affect the property

Land Registry also produces a title plan, showing the location and extent of the land or property’s legal boundary. The plan doesn't usually show ownership of boundary features.

When is registration compulsory?

When a property is sold in Northern Ireland the title must be registered in Land Registry.

When is registration not compulsory?

Property registration is not necessary if:

  • the transaction is a gift or assent and no money paid
  • there is a mortgage and charging order
  • the lease is less than 21 years
  • there is exchange or partition of land and no money is paid
  • there is surrender of leases

Advantages of registering land

  • legal title is guaranteed
  • an accurate plan of the extent of ownership is created
  • an up-to-date public record of ownership is created
  • rights of way are clearly identified
  • covenants and mortgages are recorded
  • risk of fraud is greatly reduced
  • simple forms replace complicated deeds
  • repeated examination of title deeds is unnecessary
  • disputes can be resolved more easily

For more information on the Land Registry, go to:

Registry of Deeds (ROD)

The system of registering document of unregistered land is known as the Registry of Deeds. This is for land which has not been registered in the Land Registry.

Under this system,  you lodge a summary of the original deed with LPS. LPS keeps the summary and gives you the original deed.

The Registry of Deeds system does not guarantee that any document is valid or has any legal effect.

Compulsory first registration will phase out the Registry of Deeds.
For more information on the Registry of Deeds, go to:

Statutory Charges Register

This Registry gives buyers a way to check if a property is affected by certain statutory restrictions.

These restrictions are usually created by or in favour of government departments or councils and include Clearance Orders and Preservation Orders.

For more information on the Statutory Charges Register, go to:

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