We have a number of charity clients, and despite being significant land owners, a large part of their land ownership and estates are unregistered.
Why? It is often the case that this land has been held for a number of years and there have been no transfers or dispositions triggering the requirement for compulsory registration with the Land Registry.
Notwithstanding this, a number of our clients are now considering and undertaking voluntary registration
There are a number of reasons why this can be seen as good practice:
- It enables trustees of a charity to demonstrate they are complying with their fiduciary duties to protect the charity’s assets.
- Having a registered title for its land assets give charities better protection against third parties who may claim rights over or ownership of its land.
- It consolidates the charity’s land assets and, going forward, the exercise will assist with property transactions as deducing title to prospective purchasers will be quicker and easier.
It is also worth noting that the Land Registry offers reduced fees when undertaking voluntary registration. A charity with significant land holdings may want to consider approaching the Land Registry to work with a designated project team to complete the registration. We know from experience that this has worked well for a number of clients.