What are Land Registry Plans?
Land registry documents are essential property documents detailing a given property’s features, including boundary information, title information, unique identifiers, and visual representation/drawings. These documents are necessary for almost every other property-related transaction, such as sale & purchase, transfer of ownership, lease transactions, and dispute resolution.
These plans are submitted to and held by the HMLR (His Majesty’s Land Registry), which maintains all these records in its database for future reference. The land registry plans must comply with the requirements of the HMLR. Any error or misinformation in the plans can lead to their rejection and also create problems for you when carrying out property transactions.
What Are the HMLR’s Requirements for Land Registry Plans?
The HMLR has a set of requirements that must be fulfilled when submitting land registry plans. Some of these include the following:
- Scale and detail
- Ordnance Survey base map
- Accurate boundaries
- Identification numbers
- Covenants and easements
- Scale bar and North point
- Legal declaration
- Signature and date
- Plan number
- Plan updates
Scale Options for the Land Registry Plans
Standard scales the HMLR accepts include 1:1250, 1:2500, and 1:1250 with insets. The 1:1250 scale is typically used for small and medium-sized suburban and urban properties. This scale is highly suitable for properties with complex boundaries and intricate features.
The 1:2500 scale is more suitable for large properties and less populated areas. The large scale makes the representation of boundaries more convenient. The 1:1250 with insets combines both scales and is used in special circumstances, such as representing a particular area within a property.
For the land registry plan to make sense, map orientation is as essential as the map scale. Without orientation, anyone scrutinising or trying to understand the map will find it impossible to identify the layout or the boundaries. The HMLR requires that all plans must include a north point.
If you have ever seen a map, you will find this orientation in the shape of an arrow with an N, representing the north direction. Another essential thing to consider is that the orientation must align with the relevant ordnance survey map base.
Land Registry Plan Details
The land registry plan must accurately mention all the details. These include accurate measurement of boundaries such as hedges, walls, and fences. All structures, such as sheds, garages, and other permanent structures, should be included in the plan with appropriate labels and dimensions. Access points such as pathways, driveways, and entrances must be depicted in the plan. All other natural features which are significant in size must also be included.
Compatibility with Ordnance Survey Maps
The land registry plans must be prepared based on an ordnance survey map. The selected scale and orientation must align with these maps. Ordnance survey maps are topographic maps that detail a property’s geographical and architectural details. These include railways, coastlines, natural landmarks, roads, and almost every detail.
These maps are prepared by the OS, i.e. the Ordnance Survey, and are considered highly accurate and precise. The maps are used for numerous purposes, including preparation of land registry plans. With the introduction of digital mapping, the preparation of survey maps has become considerably convenient and even more accurate. When land registry plans are prepared, it must be ensured that they are compatible with the Ordnance Survey maps.
Other Requirements for Land Registry Plans
- The land registry plans should mention the date of the document.
- The plan should include a unique plan number.
- The plan should be prepared by authorised and licensed surveyors and architects.
- The qualified professional who prepares the plan must provide a legal declaration that the plans are accurate and in line with the HMLR’s requirements.
- The plans should be signed by the professional who prepared them.
- The plan must include all the relevant information, such as the registered owner’s name.
What Should not be Marked on Land Registry Plans?
While it is essential to fulfil all the requirements of HMLR, it is equally important not to include or mention irrelevant information. The plan’s purpose is to give an accurate picture of property details; therefore, personal details should not be included in the plan.
Features that do not directly affect the property should be excluded. For instance, topographical features such as geological information or contour lines are unnecessary. Surveyors should also avoid writing any personal remarks or annotations for their reference. The plan also does not require that you mention the ownership details of surrounding properties.
It should be remembered that one of the applications of land registry plans is conflict resolution, so any information which may give rise to a conflict must be excluded.