Updating the Land Registration Act 2002

Current project status

  • Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
  • Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
  • Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
  • Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
  • Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations

Building a more effective land registration system. We are currently preparing our final report and draft bill.

Download the consultation

Download the consultation summary

The problem

An effective land registration law is essential for everyone who owns land, whether the land is a home, a business or an investment.

But dealings and disputes that engage the land registration regime can be complex and require expert advice. Uncertainty in the regime makes advising clients difficult, incentivises litigation, and increases costs for landowners.

In recent years, the landscape in which land registration operates has changed. There has been an increase of incidents of fraud relating to registered land, the legal consequences of which have been difficult to resolve. And technology has not developed in the way that was predicted at the time the legislation was drafted.

With over 24 million registered titles in England and Wales – ranging from residential flats to farms and shopping centres – any inefficiencies or uncertainties in the land registration system can also have a significant impact on the property market, and the wider economy.

The project

Our project is designed to update the Land Registration Act 2002. This is the Act that governs registered land.

The project is not designed to fundamentally reformulate the Act, but to improve specific aspects of its operation within the existing legal framework.

The project formed part of our Twelfth Programme of Law Reform published in July 2014.

Consultation

We published a consultation paper on 31 March 2016. It considered a wide range of issues including:

  • the interests that can be registered
  • how interests are protected on the register
  • the effect of registration
  • the extent of the guarantee of title that registration provides
  • the development of electronic conveyancing.

The consultation period closed on 30 June 2016.

Next steps

Following an analysis of the responses to our consultation, we aim to publish our report and draft Bill in summer 2018.

Documents and downloads

Project details

Area of law

Property, family and trust law

Commissioner

Professor Nicholas Hopkins