Other registers and searches

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Are there any other registers or sources of information that it is usual to search when buying a property or lending money on mortgage?

The Property Registration Authority is not an advisory body regarding off register enquiries that must be made prior to registration of a legal interest. The following are examples of some matters that may require investigation depending on the nature of the transaction. The Property Registration Authority takes no responsibility for the veracity or otherwise of the general information and contents stated herein that relate to “off register” enquires. Legal advice is usually taken on these issues prior to the purchase or mortgage of a property.

Mapping

The Land Registry Map

Land Registry map is based on the Ordnance Survey (OSi) map for the State and the map scales adopted for any specified area are those which the Authority may direct. (See Section 84 of the Registration of Title Act, 1964 as substituted by Section 61 of the Registration of Deeds and Titles Act, 2006). Every applicant submitting a map for registration purposes is under legal obligation to furnish sufficient information thereon to enable the lands to be accurately shown on the Registry map. (See Section 85 of the Act of 1964 as substituted by Section 62 of the Act of 2006).

The boundary system adopted under the Registration of Title Act, 1964 is known as a non-conclusive boundary system. The non-conclusive provision dispenses with the need for determining the exact location of title boundaries when defining the extent of registered properties and the ownership of the physical features which mark the limits of a property is left undetermined. In the case of boundaries located within buildings, the exact line or plane of the title boundary is also left undetermined.

The non-conclusive boundary system will not indicate whether a title boundary includes a hedge or a wall and ditch or runs along the centre of a wall or fence or runs along its inner or outer face or how far it runs within or without it or whether or not the land registered includes the whole or any portion of an adjoining road or stream. However, the location of the physical features within which the title boundary lies, or the points between which an undefined title boundary runs, must be accurately defined on the application map.

See website regarding frequently asked question regarding land registry mapping and for full practice direction guidelines;

http://www.prai.ie/eng/About_Us/Frequently_Asked_Questions/

Business Registers

The Companies registration Office is the central repository of public statutory information on Irish companies and business names.

The CRO has a number of core functions:

  • The incorporation of companies and the registration of business names.
  • The receipt and registration of post incorporation documents.
  • The enforcement of the Companies Acts in relation to the filing obligations of companies.
  • Making information available to the public.

See http://www.cro.ie/ena/about-cro.aspx

A person searching in the office can on application obtain full information regarding the company as required to be registered under the Companies Acts 1963-2005.For example, a search will show if the company has been dissolved and the reason for dissolution e.g. failure to file returns, or if a liquidator or receiver has been appointed. Details of charges entered into by a company as required under Section 99 of the Companies Acts 1963-2005 are also available. Director and secretary names/shareholder information is also available on searching the register.

Insolvency Registers

People buying or selling property check the Bankruptcy Register (A book which has a list of names of people who are bankrupt). At present you can only make this search by attending in person at the Examiner’s Office. Searches cannot be made over the telephone. There is a fee charged for each search made against the Bankruptcy Register. See Rules and Fees Section on the Courts Service website

http://www.courts.ie/. There are provisions under the Bankruptcy Act, 1988 where a deed may be held void for example if made with the intention of defrauding a creditor.

A search is also usually carried out in the judgments office to enquire regarding the existence of any judgment order obtained against the property i.e. to check for the registration of judgments obtained in the High Court, Circuit Court and District Court. The judgments register can be searched for a fee of €10 in respect of each search. Further information can be found at:

http://www.courts.ie/offices.nsf/0/8D87B4F39B25103D80257098004C09CB?opendocument

In certain cases a sheriff’s office search may be required in certain cases where the property is carried on as a business over leasehold property. A sheriff has the right to seize goods and a right to sale (but not a right of possession).

Lis pendens search; this will show if there are any legal proceedings pending regarding the subject property and once disclosed a purchaser is bound. Even though there is provision under Section 69 of the Registration of Title Act, 1964 for registration in the Land Registry, it is advisable to check for the existence of any proceedings registered on the lis pendens register that may not be registered in the Land Registry.

Local Authority

All planning matters are dealt with by the local authority (local councils) within which the property is situated. New builds require planning permission and many renovations/extensions to property will also require permission. Planning law is dealt with in the Planning and Development Act, 2000 and permissions are subject to an appeal process as set out therein. The planning authority prepares and revises development plans for the area, makes decisions on individual applications for planning permission, has powers of enforcement for breach of the law, maintains a public register amongst other designated function laid down in the Act. There are several matters that may require investigation behind the planning register, for example, the Derelict Sites register, Building Control Act Register (this shows details of commencement notices, fire safety certificates, enforcement notices etc.). Details of listed buildings are also held by the local authority (special areas of conservation and national heritage). The searches and enquiries to be made will depend on the age, location and use residential, commercial etc. of the property in question.

Other charges may be payable to the local authority such as rates, environmental waste charges, domestic waste charges may be due on the property. These are non-title enquiries as opposed to overriding interests that a purchaser normally enquires about.

Utilities

The purchaser’s solicitor will usually make enquiries regarding water supply (public access in urban areas) or private access.  A purchaser must be satisfied the necessary way leaves are in place to ensure water supply.  Similar enquiries need to be made regarding sewage (whether into local authority system or privately through septic tank and soakage area. Again a purchaser need to be sure appropriate easements are in place. Other enquiries regarding utilities such as gas, electricity, telephone are required.

Flood Risk

Access to a range of detailed information, including flood maps, flood and other hydrometric data and how to prepare for flood events is available from the Office of Public Works.

http://www.opw.ie/FloodRiskManagement/

Unregistered deed

Prior to first registration on the register searches are required in order to ensure there are no other deeds relating to the property in existence that may be on title. For registered title, searches in the Registry of Deeds are not required.

Tax

Taxation issues must be dealt with and whilst the Property Registration Authority ensures that any deed lodged for registration is accompanied by a suitable tax certificate, there are other areas of tax that must be dealt with in a conveyancing transaction such as probate tax, capital gains tax, VAT, local taxes due to the local authority in which the property is situate such as the household levy and local government charges etc. Under Local Government (Charges) Act, 2009, €200 is payable per annum to the local authority by owners of non-principal private residences.  Under the Local Government (Household Charge) Act, 2011, €100 is payable per annum in respect of residential property.

Management companies for apartments

For registered leasehold title, the lease is inspected to see the details of the rights that bind the parties which will not be apparent from inspection of the register. Any fees payable to the management company are dealt with in the contract.

Building energy certificates

S.I. 666/2006 which transposed Articles 5 and 7 of the EU Energy Performance of Building Directive 2009/91/EC) into Irish law requires a certificate of the energy rating of a building in certain cases (for new builds after certain date and existing buildings for sale or rent after 1st January 2009). The certificate should be obtained prior to contracts being issued.