1. Is it compulsory to register all transactions relating to land/property in your system?
No-Compulsory registration is governed by Section 24 of the Registration of Title Act, 1964 as amended by the Registration of Deeds and Title Act, 2006 and only applies in certain circumstances.
2. If not, are there any circumstances under which is it compulsory to do so?
When a property sold under a conveyance or on the grant/assignment of a lease, it must be registered in the Land Registry. This policy has been gradually rolled out and all counties in Ireland are now subject to the effect of compulsory registration since June 2011. So, if a property is vested under an assent on death or gifted in consideration of natural love and affection, it is not compulsory to register the effect of that deed in the Land Registry and its existence can be recorded in the Registry of Deeds. The option of voluntary registration exists in any case.
3. If not, and registration is voluntary, what are the benefits of registration?
On registration in the Land Registry, the title is backed by a State guarantee in that the legislation provides for compensation where any person sustains loss to which Section 120 of the Registration of Title Act, 1964 applies, and the loss is not caused or substantially contributed to by the act, neglect or default of himself or his agent, that person and also any person deriving title from him shall be entitled to compensation for that loss. The register is conclusive, a purchaser or mortgagor does not have to look behind the register to see who holds the legal title and can see any burdens or encumbrances capable of registration that are on the title.
4. What percentage of land/titles is/are registered in your system?
As above at question 10.
5. What types of legal rights in property are capable of being protected by registration?
The types of legal rights capable of registration are set out in the primary legislation and are shown on registers of ownership of freehold land and leasehold interests and also a register of ownership of land comprising incorporeal heriditaments held in gross and such other rights as may be prescribed. The legal rights capable of being shown on the register include transfers, transmissions on death, charges, burdens, judgment mortgages and cautions and inhibitions (which protect equitable rights) and priority entries on contract to buy or mortgage.
6. Are there other rights, legal situations, judicial decisions affecting property rights or owner’s powers capable of registration?
All rights capable of registration are shown in the primary legislation. Rights may be acquired by Deed, on the administration of an estate on death, by proving title in court in which case a court order may be registered or some may be acquired by operation of law such as survivor of joint tenants, by operation of statute such as rights acquired under the Statute of Limitations Act, 1957 (adverse possession) commonly known as squatters rights.
7. What are the effects of registration of a transfer of ownership?
This is set out in Sections 37 of the Registration of Title Act, 1964. http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1964/en/act/pub/0016/print.html#sec37. The effect of registration of owner of freehold with absolute title is the owner has title to an estate in fee simple in the land, together with all implied or express rights, privileges and appurtenances subject to burdens registered if any and those capable of effecting without registration. Sections 38 and 39 deal with the effect of registration with possessory titles and qualified title.
8. What are the effects of registration of a mortgage/charge? What powers or rights are available to the registered owners of charge in order to enforce their security?
The effect of registration of a charge is set out in Section 62 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1964/en/act/pub/0016/print.html#sec62, the principal advantage for the lender being the power of sale provided for therein.
9. Is the title guaranteed by the State/Registrar? If so, to what extent and under what circumstances?
Yes, the title is supported by compensation in the event of certain circumstances as set out in Section 120 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1964/en/act/pub/0016/print.html#sec120. Essentially the Section provides for compensation in the event of loss arising as a result of error, fraud or forgery where that person or his/her agent has not contributed to the loss. The money is provided through the Oireachtas (Government).
10. What remedies are available to land registry information users who may have relied on register information and suffered loss as a result of reliance on that information?
A claim can be made directly to the Authority. It may be then dealt with the Chief State Solicitors Office who deal with the management of legal claims against the State or ultimately, if not settled, may proceed to court. Compensation claims are minimal accounting for less than 1% of fee income over each of the last ten years (check)
11. How does a party who has suffered loss make a claim for compensation if applicable?
12. What are the risks involved where property transactions are not registered?
The person benefitting from the transaction does not gain the benefit of registration as per the examples of transfers and charges. In the transfer the legal title has not vested and in the mortgage, the mortgagee does not have the benefit of power of sale under Section 62 and has to take additional steps to enforce such rights. On first registration where compulsory, registration must be applied for within 6 months. If not, a person shall not acquire any estate or interest in land. Also failure to register could mean a person entitled but not registered may not receive relevant notice(s) of another party’s claim against the title, such as the existence of a judgment mortgage, a claim to ownership based on long possession or a claim to a right of way based on long user (prescription).
13. Are there any penalties for non-registration?
There are no financial penalties but non registration carries associated risk as set out above.
14. Is cadastral/mapping information included in the title registration process? If so, is it guaranteed? If yes, by whom?
Land Registry title information is supported by an image of the property called a title plan. The boundary shown thereon is not guaranteed by the Authority as the Land Registry operates a non-conclusive boundary system. This is dealt with in Section 85 of the 1964 Act http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1964/en/act/pub/0016/print.html#sec85