Land Registries & Cadastres

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In your country, the Land Registry and the Cadaster are they different institutions?

If yes:

a) Which are the main duties of the respective organizations?
b) Which Ministry’s competence do they fall under?
c) Could you describe in brief the form of collaboration between the two institutions?

If no:

a) Which are the main duties of the sole organization?
b) Which Ministry’s competence does it fall under?
c) Is land registration and mapping organized as separate departments within the organization?

We only have a Land Registry in Malta. The main duties of the Land Registry are to maintain a reliable and effective land registration system initially in all registration areas and ultimately throughout the Maltese Islands for the creation and free movement of interests in property. The Land Registry falls under the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects. The Land Registry does not have a separate department for mapping as the mapping agency of Malta is the Planning Authority.

Within 15 days as specified by legislation from the date of the deed of transfer of property, and where the property is in a registration area, the Notary as the responsible person must apply for the registration of the property at the Land Registry. The Land Registrar is the person finally responsible for the approval of the applications entered.

In case someone objects to a registration, Chapter 296 of the Laws of Malta, which is the Land Registration Act, gives the discretionary authority to the Land Registrar of deciding between two parties as regards to contentious issues of registration. The Land Registrar’s decision can only be appealed in the Court of Appeal of the Courts of Malta.

The Land Registrar must be a Lawyer or Notary person of at least 7 years standing.

The act of registration is not just an administrative duty as it is giving a title on the property which after 10 years becomes a guaranteed title. The fact that the Land Registrar’s decision can be only appealed in the Court of Appeal gives the Land Registrar a quasi-judicial standing.

The Land Registrar is independent in his/her decision making. This is assured as his final decision can only be challenged in the Court of Appeal.

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