LR Unit (Section A)

Land registry based on the real folio principle.

Some land registration systems consider any immovable asset, regardless its nature or situation, a subject matter of registration. Others restrict the concept only to those specified by law, or even create legal fiction of immovable assets with regard to the registration in the land registry.

1. Is there any specific provision in your law that regulates what can create a new land registry file (a new folio)? Could you please state that provision? What is the basic unit in the land registry? What can open a folio? Only Immovable assets by nature, or also immovable assets by legal fiction (by disposition of law)?

The Land Registration Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 sets out the scope of registration of title. Section 10 states that there shall be maintained by or on behalf of the Registrar in a Register of Title to:

  • Freehold estates in land
  • Leasehold estates in land
  • Land comprising incorporeal rights held in gross; and
  • Such other rights in land as may be prescribed.

Leasehold estates exclude a leasehold estate granted for a term of 21 years or less.

Section 12 of the Act states a person may be registered;

a) In the case of a freehold estate as owner in fee simple; or

b) In the case of a settled freehold estate:

– if he is a tenant in tail; or
– if he is a tenant for life; or
– if he has under the Settled Land Acts the power of a tenant for life; or
– in the case of a leasehold estate as the person in whom the leasehold estate is vested in possession; or
– in the case of a settled leasehold estate if he is either a tenant for life or has under the Settled Land Acts the powers of a tenant for life as the limited owner of that estate.

Section B of this Act states:

  1. On first registration of the ownership of a freehold estate, a person may be registered with:

    a) an absolute title; or
    b) a good fee farm grant title; or
    c) a possessory title; or
    d) a qualified title.

  2. On first registration of the ownership of a leasehold estate, a person may be registered with:

    a) an absolute title; or
    b) a good leasehold title; or
    c) a possessory title; or
    d) a qualified title.

The following is a description of what opens on new folios in the Northern Ireland Register:

  • On an application for first registration. This is compulsory where monies have exchanged.
  • On a voluntary first registration application.
  • On a transfer of part of registered land for monies.
  • On a voluntary transfer of part of registered land.
  • On an application for adverse possession over part of registered lands or unregistered lands.
  • By Order of the Court.
  • On an application for registration of incorporeal hereditments held in gross, eg, turbary rights.
  • Application for a subdivision of a folio
  • Application for a leasehold folio.

Registration of easements such as rights of way is generally registered as burdens on the folio and as appurtenances on the folio benefiting from the right and this does not lead to a new folio being created.

On a transfer of part a new title with its own individual register and title number will be opened. A note with the original title will state a transfer of part has taken place.

Leases can generally only be created for apartments or commercial lands. Leases for more than 21 years must be registered with its own title number and register. A note will be made on the original folio from which the lease was granted of the brief details of the lease.

In relation to identification of the entity the Northern Ireland Registry requires the map, the County, the address and description. The application must be made in the correct form under the Land Registry Rules accompanied by the original deeds/documents in the required format.