1. Is it compulsory to register all transactions relating to land/property in your system?
No, registration is voluntary with very few exceptions.
2. If not, are there any circumstances under which is it compulsory to do so?
The registration for mortgages is compulsory because they do not exist until they have been registered.
3. If not, and registration is voluntary, what are the benefits of registration?
The registration of rights provides extra protection, the legal presumption of existence and exactness being one of them, this means that only through a civil procedure in Court this presumption may be denied. Confidence in the content of the Land Registry is very strong, presuming that the registered right is known by everyone as it is published by the Land Registry. However, the most important effect of registration is the protection of the acquirer of property or real rights from the person who appears entitled to transfer according to the Land Registry.
The Registry provides absolute protection to the acquirer against any fault in the previous acquisitions up to the point that they will remain “untouched” even if the previous title is declared null as long as the acquisition was onerous, not free, they have “bona fides”, which is presumed, and the cause of the nullity was not published by the Registry.
4. What percentage of land/titles is/are registered in your system?
Approximately 92% of land is registered.
5. What types of legal rights in property are capable of being protected by registration?
Property and real rights are registered.
6. Are there other rights, legal situations, judicial decisions affecting property rights or owner’s powers capable of registration?
Judicial decisions stating a person’s lack of capacity to manage their estate, declaration of legal absence and death, and any other decisions that affect a person’s capacity in order to administrate their assets; leases may also be registered as well as bankruptcy.
7. What are the effects of registration of a transfer of ownership?
See reply to question 2.3 above
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 registration of mortgages is constitutive, therefore the creditor needs the registration in case of a future foreclosure. The registration of charges makes them opposable to their parties.
9. Is the title guaranteed by the State/Registrar? If so, to what extent and under what circumstances?
Registrars are liable for the possible damage caused by any mistake made in the Land Registry.
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?
If proven, that a mistake has been made by the Land Registry, the registrar will be held responsible and damages will be compensated.
11. How does a party who has suffered loss make a claim for compensation if applicable?
It is an insurance company that covers all registrars, that will attend the claims and pay the potential compensation. A party can address directly the Land Registry to begin the procedure.
12. What are the risks involved where property transactions are not registered?
Due to the legal presumption of existence that registered rights enjoy, a deed that has not access the Land Registry will allow the former owner or right holder to be presumed as the real and current one, that means that a charging order against them could be registered.
13. Are there any penalties for non-registration?
14. Is cadastral/mapping information included in the title registration process? If so, is it guaranteed? If yes, by whom?