HMLR Title Plan Information
The filed plan and the register of title are the two documents that are produced when land is registered at the Land Registry. The filed plan (referred to in the description) will detail the outline of where the boundaries of the land are and if there are any other features to the land. The register of title will contain all of the relevant information regarding the land, including the name and address of the owner(s), the address of the land and any details of charges, covenants or rights that affect it.
The filed plan shows an outline of the property along with the streets that surround it and is an ordnance survey map plan. You will find it has a north point and is drawn to scale, with the land boundaries indicated in red. This is first produced when the land is registered with the Land Registry and will be based upon the plan that is contained in the title deeds.
This cannot be updated every time ownership of the land changes, unlike the register, so it will only be adjusted when the property is adjusted in some way, i.e. a boundary is moved or some of the land has been sold.
The Filed Plan and its Accuracy
Whilst the Land Registry Title Plan offers a good guide by showing the general boundary of the land, it cannot be relied upon as an exact indication and the Land Registry aren’t accountable for any losses that are suffered when relying upon it. This means that it cannot be used to solve any disputes over boundaries, instead, when these occur, you will need to look at the pre-registration title deeds.
How Boundaries are Determined by the Land Registry
Form DB, from the Land Registry, does allow you to process an application to determine exactly where the boundaries lie. The Land Registry will then look at any physical features and any available pre-registration title details to see if they have sufficient evidence that allows them to determine where the boundary is. If they find there is, an updated plan will be produced and the title register will be recorded to show that this boundary has been established. This plan will now be reliable.
Should the Land Registry find that there isn’t enough evidence to determine the boundary; this is something that can only be established by the Courts.
The Filed Plan and the Land Registry Colouring
When observing a filed plan there will be different colours used to identify the various features and these should be indicated in the title register. You will find that the property boundary is always shown in red but if the property is a maisonette or flat and not all of the areas of the property are owned, the flat’s footprint will be detailed in tinted blue. The title register will also indicate this area, with a description along these lines – “as to the part tinted blue on the file plan, only the [floor number] is included in the title.”
Brown, yellow and blue will also be used to show where different rights of way are, whilst pink will often be used to show what parts of the land are subject to covenants.
Green will be present when part of the property has been removed, i.e. some of the land has been sold, and should this have previously had its own title as it was registered, this will be indicated on the plan too.
The First Registration of a Title Plan
If a property is being registered for the first time, or you have a plot of land that has been sold from a larger plot, you will need to provide a suitable plan to the Land Registry that will help them to prepare the filed plan – unless the OS map clearly identifies the boundaries.
This plan must have a north point and be drawn to an acceptable scale. Always remember that when copying a plan you shouldn’t resize it (i.e. copying an A3 plan onto an A4 one) as this will distort the scale and make the plan inaccurate.
The title deeds will normally provide the plan that is used, but sometimes a plan will need to be drawn, especially if the property is part of a development or new build. Ideally, this should be produced by a professional draughtsman.