Guidance

Practice guide 63: Land Charges-applications for registration, official search, office copy and cancellation

Updated 13 April 2016

1. Introduction

Under section 1 of the Land Charges Act 1972, the Land Charges Department keeps the following registers:

  • a register of land charges
  • a register of pending actions and pending actions in bankruptcy
  • a register of writs and orders affecting land and writs and orders in bankruptcy
  • a register of deeds of arrangement affecting land
  • a register of annuities

See Appendix D: Land Charges registers for further details.

The Land Charges Department also keeps an index whereby all entries made in any of the registers can readily be traced.

The primary task of the Land Charges Department is to protect the interest of a person, or an organisation in unregistered land and to maintain the bankruptcy index for England and Wales.

The land charges index does not record ownership of unregistered land. This is because a person who owns unregistered land has title deeds which may be produced as proof of ownership. First mortgages are not registered at the Land Charges Department, because the mortgagee of unregistered land who has a first mortgage holds the title deeds as security. (This prevents the owner of the land from selling the land without contacting the mortgagee.)

However, there are many other situations where someone has an interest in the land but does not hold the title deeds as security. These may be interests such as second or subsequent mortgages (where the mortgagee does not hold the deeds), restrictive covenants, estate contracts including option agreements, and matrimonial or civil partnership home rights. This is where the Land Charges Department has a vital role. The person or organisation with the interest should apply to register their interest with the Land Charges Department.

Please note that there is no provision in the Land Charges Act 1972 for the protection by registration of an interest under a trust of land or settlement.

See Applications for registration for further details.

If the person who has an interest which should be protected by registration fails to register it under the Land Charges Act 1972, the interest will be void against certain purchasers of the land. As to non-registration of land charges see section 4 of the Land Charges Act 1972 and, for example, Midland Bank Trust Co Ltd v Green HL [1981] AC 513, [1981] 1 All ER 153.

Registration of any instrument or matter under the Land Charges Act 1972 does not, however, confer validity upon it. The registrar is not concerned to inquire into or otherwise verify the accuracy or validity of any application made to him (see rule 22 of the Land Charges Rules 1974).

The land charges registers are open and anyone may apply to search them (section 9 of the Land Charges Act 1972). Purchasers’ conveyancers acting in the purchase of unregistered land should, as a matter of course apply for a search against the vendors and previous owners of the land to determine whether there are any land charges that have been registered and to obtain the details if there are. They can then ensure, for example, that any mortgage that is revealed is cleared. They will also know how to advise their clients on any other matters, such as restrictive covenants or equitable easements, that may be revealed.

In addition, anyone proposing to lend money can check that the borrower is not bankrupt. When acting for a lender a ‘bankruptcy only’ search should be made against a borrower even if a registered estate in land is being purchased.

This guide explains:

  • how to make different types of application
  • the information you must provide
  • the different types of form (for postal applications)
  • the information you will receive in an acknowledgment, certificate of the result of search or office copy

2. Applications for registration (rules 5 and 14(3) of the Land Charges Rules 1974)

You must lodge applications for registration, renewal of registration, priority notice or rectification in the prescribed form as follows:

  • K1 Application for registration of a Land Charge (other than Class F)
  • K2 Application for registration of a Land Charge of Class F
  • K3 Application for registration of a Pending Action
  • K4 Application for registration of a Writ or Order
  • K6 Application for registration of a Priority Notice
  • K7 Application for the renewal of a registration (other than a Land Charge of Class F)
  • K8 Application for the renewal of a registration of a Land Charge of Class F
  • K9 Application for rectification of an entry in the register

No deed, document or plan should be lodged with the application unless provided for by the Land Charges Rules or the appropriate form or a notice under Schedule 3 (rule 21 of the Land Charges Rules 1974).

Form K10 (Continuation of an application) may be used if there is insufficient space on the above forms for details of the application.

2.1 Completing the application

Because applications are scanned, it is imperative that you complete each application form legibly and accurately. The land charges registers and index are compiled from the information given in applications, consequently any error in the particulars given, however slight, may lead to highly important information not being disclosed in a subsequent search.

This almost certainly would be to the detriment of the chargee (see Diligent Finance Co Ltd v Alleyne and Another [1972] 23 P. & C.R. 346; ct. Oak Co-operative Building Society v Blackburn and Others [1968] Ch. 730 C.A., reversing [1967] Ch.1169).

2.1.1 Names

You must give the full names in your application:

  • for individuals: enter the forename(s) and surname in the spaces provided
  • title or rank: see Titles for details of how to enter these
  • names other than individuals: see Names other than private individuals for details of how to enter these

2.1.2 Description of the land charged

You must always provide the name of the administrative area in which the land is located. This means that you must specify the relevant unitary authority or, where the land is not within a unitary authority, the county and district. See Appendix C: administrative areas in England and Wales used by the Land Charges Department for more details.

In addition, you must provide a short description which, so far as practicable, identifies the location of the land. Normally the whole of the description of the land is included as part of the entry in the index. It is then reproduced in any certificate of the result of search that discloses the entry.

2.1.3 Applications pursuant to a priority notice

In order to attract the priority conferred under a priority notice you must state, in the space provided, the official reference number of that priority notice (section 11 of the Land Charges Act 1972). See Application for registration of a priority notice for details of how to apply for a priority notice).

2.1.4 Certification (rule 13(2) of the Land Charges Rules 1974)

You should note that registration under the Land Charges Act 1972 has no application to registered land. The Land Charges Act 1972 does not require the registrar to ascertain whether or not an instrument or matter affects registered land (section 14(2) of the LCA 1972). When you apply for registration you must certify that the estate owner’s title is not registered at Land Registry.

2.1.5 Rejection of applications

The Land Charges Department will reject any applications for registration where:

  • the application form is not signed
  • the application is for the wrong class of land charge
  • he application discloses an interest under a trust or settlement
  • fees are not enclosed and there is no key number on the form

2.2 Application for registration of a land charge (other than Class F)

See Appendix D: Land charges registers for further details of the classes of land charge.

Applications must be made using form K1 for the registration of any land charge other than class F.

In ‘the particulars of charge’ section of form K1, you must enter:

  • the date and full names of the parties to the instrument creating the charge
  • in the case of Class A or B land charges, details of the relevant Act or section
  • if neither of the above, short particulars of the effect of the charge and the date when it arose

2.3 Application for registration of a Class F land charge

See Appendix D: Land charges registers for further details of the classes of land charge.

Applications must be made using form K2.

Details must be given on the form of any subsisting registration of rights of occupation under the Matrimonial Homes Act 1967 or 1983 or home rights under the Family Law Act 1996, which affects a dwelling-house and which is protected by a Class F registration under the Land Charges Act 1925 or 1972, or a home rights notice or caution under the Land Registration Acts 1925 or 2002. This is because a charge in respect of home rights may be entered in respect only of one dwelling-house at a time and the registrar will be bound to cancel any previous registration. Details of any court order should also be given if applicable.

2.4 Application for registration of a pending action

See Appendix D: register of pending actions for further details.

Application for registration of a pending action must be made using form K3.

Every application must contain particulars of the title of the proceedings and the name, address and description of the estate owner or other person whose estate or interest is intended to be affected. In addition, it must state the court in which and the day on which the action was commenced.

2.5 Application for registration of a writ or order

See Appendix D: registers of writs and orders for further details.

Application for registration of a writ or order must be made using form K4.

The application must contain:

  • the nature of the writ or order
  • the name of the court and the official reference number
  • the title of the action
  • the date of the writ or order

2.6 Application for registration of a deed of arrangement

The Deeds of Arrangement Act 1914 was repealed by The Deregulation Act 2015. As from 1 October 2015 no new deed of arrangement may be registered. Any subsisting registrations will remain until they cease to have effect.

2.7 Application for registration of a priority notice (section 11(1)-(3) of the Land Charges Act 1972)

Application for registration of a priority notice must be made using form K6.

Any person intending to make an application for the registration of any contemplated charge, instrument or other matter may give a priority notice in the prescribed form at least 15 working days before the registration is to take effect.

The priority notice is entered in the register to which the intended application, when made, will relate. If the application is then presented within thirty working days of the registration of the priority notice and refers in the prescribed manner to the notice, the registration shall take effect as if the registration had been made at the time when the charge, instrument or matter was created, entered into, made or arose.

Consider the following situation: A takes a mortgage without the title deeds on 1 May, B takes a mortgage without the title deeds on 10 May, A registers on 11 May, B registers on 20 May, C takes a mortgage without the deeds on 30 May and registers.

The order in which the parties rank, whether their mortgages are legal or equitable, is B-A-C. Although A’s mortgage was created before B’s was created, and was registered before B’s was registered, it was not registered at the time when B’s mortgage was completed. The effect of section 4(5) of the Land Charges Act 1972 is that A’s mortgage is void against B. It is not void against C because it was registered before completion of C’s mortgage on 30 May.

However if you act for lender A and you anticipate that another mortgage will be completed shortly you may preserve your client’s priority by registering a priority notice. For example you apply for a priority notice on 9 April. You take the mortgage on 1 May as above. The second mortgage to B completes on 10 May and you apply for registration of a C(i) land charge on 11 May, referring in the prescribed manner to the priority notice. The registration takes effect as at 1 May. The order in which the parties rank, whether their mortgages are legal or equitable, is then A-B-C.

Particulars of the register to which the intended application for registration will relate must be given together, if the intended registration is a land charge, with the class and sub-class.

Where an application for registration is made pursuant to a priority notice, it must refer to that notice by citing the official reference number that has been allocated to it (rule 7 of the Land Charges Rules 1974).

2.8 Application for the renewal of a registration (not being a land charge of Class F) (section 8 of the Land Charges Act 1972)

Registrations in the registers of pending actions, writs and orders and deeds of arrangement (under sections 5, 6 or 7 of the Land Charges Act 1972) cease to have effect at the end of the period of five years from the date on which they are made, but may be renewed from time to time and, if renewed, have effect for 5 years from the date of renewal.

Application for the renewal of such a registration (not being a Class F land charge) must be made using form K7.

Particulars of the original registration, including the official reference number and the date of registration must be given.

2.9 Application for the renewal of a registration of a land charge of Class F

Home rights normally continue only during the subsistence of a marriage or civil partnership. Section 33(5) of the Family Law Act 1996 provides that in the event of a matrimonial or civil partnership dispute or estrangement the court may make an order during the subsistence of the marriage or civil partnership directing that the home rights will continue even though the marriage or civil partnership may come to an end.

If such an order is made it is possible to apply for the renewal of the Class F registration. This is a precaution against the other spouse or civil partner attempting to have the original entry cancelled without revealing the existence of the court order, for example by proving that there had been a divorce or dissolution.

Application for the renewal of a Class F land charge must be made using form K8. Particulars of the original entry (including the official reference number and the date of registration) must be given together with the details of the court order and the court by which it was made.

2.10 Application for rectification (rule 14 of the Land Charges Rules 1974)

If applications for registration are carefully completed it should not normally be necessary for a registered entry to require rectification. However, when an error made in an application for registration has led to a corresponding error in the entry, you may apply to rectify it.

Application for the rectification of an entry in the register must be made using form K9.

An application for rectification should be signed by or on behalf of the person on whose behalf the original application was made or, subject to production of sufficient evidence of title, by or on behalf of any successor in title of that person. Rectification does not operate retrospectively so that a person who has obtained either a certificate of the result of an official search in the index or an office copy of the register which is dated before the date of rectification, will not be affected by the rectification (rule 14(4) of the Land Charges Rules 1974).

Rectification will result in the original entry being retained in an amended form.

Alternatively, where there is an error, you may apply for cancellation of the entry, see Applications for cancellation, and support it with an application for the registration of a fresh entry. This will substitute a new entry for the cancelled entry.

2.11 Acknowledgments

Applications for registration, renewal of registration, priority notice or rectification are acknowledged in form K22.

The acknowledgment contains details of:

  • the type of application
  • the official reference number allocated
  • the date the registration was effected
  • the particulars of the entry made in the register
  • the applicant’s reference
  • the applicant’s key number
  • the applicant’s name and address

You should check the details and notify the Land Charges Department of any apparent inaccuracies.

Note: In the case of a priority notice, the official reference number allocated is the number that must be quoted in the subsequent application for substantive registration.

3. Official searches

You may request an official search of the index to obtain details of any entries registered against a particular name or names (section 10 of the Land Charges Act 1972).

A search should always be made in the Land Charges Department by a prospective purchaser of unregistered land or their conveyancer. ‘Purchaser’ means any person (including a mortgagee or lessee) who takes any interest in land or in a charge on land for valuable consideration, and ‘purchase’ has a corresponding meaning (section 17 of the Land Charges Act 1972).

The search should be made against all the estate owners whose names appear in the epitome or abstract of title (including those, not being parties to the deeds themselves, who are referred to in the deeds or in schedules attached to deeds which form part of the title). Where a search certificate against previous estate owner(s) has been supplied as part of the epitome or abstract (covering the correct period(s) and against the correct name(s) and against the correct description of the property), that search need not be repeated assuming that it reveals no adverse entries.

In favour of a purchaser or an intending purchaser, the certificate, according to its tenor, shall be conclusive, affirmatively or negatively, as the case may be (section 10(4) of the Land Charges Act 1972). However, the search itself must be correct in all respects (see below).

You must lodge your application for an official search in the prescribed form, either:

  • K15 Application for an official search
  • K16 Application for an official search (bankruptcy only)

See Bankruptcy only searches for further information about bankruptcy only searches.

Note: An application for a full search in form K15 will result in a search of the whole index including bankruptcy entries and deeds of arrangement.

As explained below you must clearly provide details of the name(s), former and current administrative areas and period to be searched.

The Land Charges Department may reject any application for an official search where:

  • an administrative area is not entered on the form
  • fees are not enclosed and there is no key number on the form

3.1 Private individual names

You may apply to search up to 6 names within one application. This section explains how to provide the details of a private individual’s name(s). See Names other than private individuals if you want to search other types of name.

3.1.1 Full names

You must ensure that you enter the forename(s) and the surname in the relevant panels or provide them in the order requested. This will ensure that the search is carried out against the correct name in uncertain situations, for example Barry James or James Barry.

The search will be made against only the exact version of the name as shown on the application form. It is therefore important to check that the name inserted on the application form is identical to that shown in the title deeds and that if any variations of that name appear in the deeds, for example if ‘William Smith’ is variously referred to as ‘William Smith’, ‘William Smythe’, and ‘Will Smith’, all the given variations of the name must be separately entered on the search form and a separate fee paid in respect of each.

The search will be made against:

  • the forename(s) and surname exactly as provided by you
  • the surname alone
  • the initials of the forename(s) combined with the surname

Entries will only be revealed if they have been registered in this format. Searches will not be made against forenames only or against a mixture of forenames and initials combined with the surname unless these combinations are set out as separate names to be searched, see Initials of forename(s). The following example gives you an indication of the names that are, and those that are not, included in a search.

In a search of ‘John William Smith’:

Included in search Not included in search
John William Smith John Smith
J W Smith J Smith
Smith John W Smith
  J William Smith
  William Smith
  W Smith

3.1.2 Initials of forename(s)

If you provide only the initial letter of the forename(s), the search will be made against the initials combined with the surname and also against the surname alone. Entries will only be revealed if they have been registered in this manner.

The search will not cover the surname combined with any forename(s) that happen to bear the stated initial(s). The following examples illustrate this point:

In a search of ‘John W Smith’:

Included in search Not included in search
John W Smith John William Smith
J W Smith John Smith
Smith J Smith
  W Smith
  Any forename beginning with ‘W’

In a search of ‘J W Smith’:

Included in search Not included in search
J W Smith J Smith
Smith W Smith
  Any forenames beginning with ‘JW’

3.1.3 Abbreviated forename(s)

If you have provided an abbreviation of a forename, such as JAS, THOS, HY, it will be searched exactly as given. These abbreviations will not be converted into a full name. In these circumstances you may also wish to apply for a search of the full un-abbreviated name(s).

3.1.4 Multiple surnames

The Land Charges Department search system has been designed to overcome a range of inconsistencies that may occur in name formats. Common examples are hyphens, spacing and some punctuation. However, it is not always possible to distinguish between forenames and surnames and the Land Charges Department cannot accept responsibility for any error resulting from incorrect details provided in an application. If you are in any doubt as to the correct name format we recommend that you apply for a search of all the variations, for example Forename(s): John Hamilton and Surname: Smith and Forename(s): John and Surname: Hamilton Smith.

3.1.5 Former or alternative names

If a person is commonly known by an alternative name, or if they have changed their name by deed poll or on marriage, you should apply for a separate search of each name. You must never apply for a search of “Alice Smith nee Jones” or “Alice Smith (formerly Jones)” or “Alice otherwise Alicia Smith”.

3.1.6 Titles

Words such as ‘Lord’, ‘Duke’, ‘Princess’, or even ‘Sir’ sometimes exist as forenames. It is therefore essential that a person’s titles should not be confused with their names. When completing an application you must enter a genuine title within brackets or, in a verbal application, state that it is a genuine title. For example, Forename(s): (Sir) John and Surname: Smith or Forename(s): (The Hon) John Henry and Surname: Carruthers. The title will not be reproduced in the certificate of the result of search.

When the name of a titled person or a corporation sole, such as a bishop, contains a reference to a territorial designation, you must provide the whole name as one, for example Charles James Henry Vaughan the Earl of Barchester or Lord Charles William Frederick Montague Smith of Broadoaks.

If you are lodging your application by post, DX or fax using form K15 or K16 delete the words ‘Forename(s)’ and ‘Surname’, for example:

Forename(s) THE RIGHT REVEREND JOHN HERBERT
Surname WALPOLE THE LORD BISHOP OF CHELLS
Forename(s) THE INCUMBENT FOR THE TIME BEING OF THE BENEFICE
Surname OF EASTWESTLEIGH, BARSETSHIRE

You should always consider whether a registration may have been effected simply against a person’s forenames and surname alone, without any reference to his or her title or territorial designation, and consequently, whether you should also apply for the name to be searched separately. This situation is often found when a titled person has retained his or her surname as part of their title.

3.2 Names other than private individuals

When applying for a search of a name other than a private individual you must provide the name as one, for example W J Sinner & Co Ltd. or The Partington Rural District Council.

If you are lodging your application by post, DX or fax using form K15 or K16 delete the words ‘Forename(s)’ and ‘Surname’, for example:

Forename(s) ODD-FELLOWS BARCHESTER UNITY FRIENDLY
Surname SOCIETY

When ‘The’ is the first word in a name you may either include or omit it.

3.2.1 Trading companies

Many abbreviations and variations of words are commonly used in company names. The Land Charges Department search system takes account of a wide variety of these so that you do not need to specify all possible variations when searching, see Abbreviations and variations. Allowance is also made for differences in spacing and punctuation.

3.2.2 Companies Acts

The re-registration of a company registered under the Companies Acts as a public limited company or the re-registration of a public limited company as a private limited company results in a change of name. Where the change is confined to ‘Limited’ becoming ‘Public Limited Company’ (or Welsh equivalents) or vice-versa you will only need to search one version of the name, as the search system is designed to make a search of both versions, for example:

  • John Smith Ltd may become:
  • John Smith Public Limited Company, and/or
  • John Smith Cwmni Cyfyngedig Cyhoeddus

A search made against any version will reveal entries made against all versions, including those using the abbreviations listed in Abbreviations and variations.

However, where there is any other change of name it will be your responsibility to make a search against both versions. In the following example the words ‘and Company’ have been dropped from the name. You must therefore apply for a search of:

  • John Smith and Company Limited
  • John Smith Public Limited Company, and/or
  • John Smith Cwmni Cyfyngedig Cyhoeddus

3.2.3 Abbreviations and variations

The Land Charges Department search system automatically takes account of recognised abbreviations and variations whenever they occur in a name. The registrar will not accept responsibility for searching any other abbreviation or variation unless you have applied for it to be searched as a separate name.

The following abbreviations and variations are treated, within each group, as being the same for the purposes of a search:

& Ass Brother Co Dr LD Soc St
And Assoc Bro Cos Doc Ltd Socs Street
  Assocs Brothers Coy Doctor Limited Socy St
  Associate Bros Coys     Society Saint
  Associated   Comp     Societys  
  Associates   Comps     Societies  
  Association   Company        
  Associations   Companies        
      Cyfyngedig        
      Cyf        
      Public Limited Company        
      PLC        
      Cwmni Cyfyngedig Cyhoeddus        
      CCC        
      Cwmni Cyf Cyhoeddus        

The singular and plural of the following words are also treated as being the same:

Broker Decorator Holding Production
Builder Developer Hotel Property
Charity Development Industry School
College Enterprise Investment Son
Commissioner Estate Motor Store
Construction Garage   Trust
Contractor     Warden

3.2.4 Names incorporating numbers

Some company names contain numbers which are either numerals or spelt words. If a name contains a number, you must specify the format in which it is to be searched; either with numerals, (for example 19th Century Land Co. Ltd) or alphabetical characters, (for example, Nineteenth Century Land Co. Ltd). It cannot be too strongly emphasised that names will be searched precisely as they are given in the application. It is your responsibility to ensure that each name is correctly given.

Alternative name variations will only be searched when you have separately specified them in your application. A fee is payable for each separate name.

3.2.5 Local authority names

The names of local authorities are, in practice, expressed in various ways, for example:

The County Council of ………………………..
The ………………County Council
The Council of the ………………..County
……………………………C.C.
The Mayor, Alderman & Burgesses of the Borough of ……………….
The …………….. Corporation
The …………….. Borough Corporation

When a search of a local authority is required, two elements in the name must be established; the place name and the status of the authority. It is quite common to find two or more local authorities with the same place name and it is essential to distinguish one from another. There is no prescribed method for giving the name of the authority so long as it is clearly stated.

The Land Charges Department search system translates the status of an authority into the form in which all local authorities are recorded in the index. This ensures that all relevant entries are revealed.

3.2.6 Other corporate bodies

There are many different kinds of corporate body other than a trading company or local authority. Invariably there is one correct version of the name and one only. Registration must be effected against the correct name and subsequent searches must follow the same name format. A spelling or format discrepancy between either will result in the entry not being revealed. The responsibility for ensuring registration and search accuracy rests with you the applicant (see Oak Co-operative Building Society v. Blackburn and Others [1968] Ch.730 C.A., reversing [1967] Ch.1169 and Diligent Finance Co. Ltd. v. Alleyne and Another [1972] 23P. & C.R. 346).

3.2.7 The Crown, Duchy of Lancaster, Duchy of Cornwall and Crown Estate Commissioners

Please see Appendix A: official searches against The Sovereign; The Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall and The Crown Estate Commissioners which describes how to apply for a search against the name of the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty in Right of Her Crown or in right of Her private estates or in Right of Her Duchy of Lancaster, or against the name of the Duchy of Cornwall, or His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales as Duke of Cornwall, or the Crown Estate Commissioners.

3.2.8 Special cases

There are a number of colleges, schools, city livery companies and institutions that are popularly known by a shortened version of their formal title. Although, in strictness, you should give the full title in your application for a search you may, in the special cases set out in Appendix B: official searches against certain livery companies, colleges and schools give the popular shortened version of the name, provided you also give the reference number shown against the name.

If you are lodging your application by post, DX or fax using form K15 or form K16 enter the reference number in the left hand column (headed ‘For Official Use Only’) of the application form and delete the words ‘Forename(s)’ and ‘Surname’, for example:

1011322 Forename HARROW SCHOOL
  Surname ………………………..

3.2.9 Un-incorporated bodies

The property of an un-incorporated body is vested in its trustees. Entries should therefore be registered in the names of the trustees and a search should be applied for against the trustees’ names. However, you may need to apply for an official search of the collective name of the trustees, for example ‘The Trustees of ……………. Charity’. In these circumstances you should give the collective name as if it were a corporate body, see Names other than private individuals.

3.3 Administrative areas

The county or unitary authority originally specified in an application for registration is recorded in the index as part of the details of the entry. That entry will only be revealed if the identical county or unitary authority is given in your application for a search.

No extra fee is charged for specifying more than one administrative area: you can specify up to a maximum of six administrative areas in each application for a search.

Please see Appendix C: administrative areas in England and Wales used by the Land Charges Department for further details.

3.3.1 Boundary changes

When changes in administrative area boundaries have occurred which affect the land, it is imperative that you also give both the administrative area in which the land is currently located and the administrative area in which the land was formerly located.

3.3.2 County boroughs

Where, in the past, an application for registration referred to a county borough instead of a county, this was converted on computerisation of the index to the appropriate geographical county or counties, for example an entry previously referring only to Leeds C.B. is now recorded with all other entries held under Yorkshire.

These entries will be revealed whenever a search application gives Yorkshire as a county to be searched.

In the case of a county borough not clearly lying within one particular county, the entry has been converted to refer to all the counties that may affect. Therefore, a search application giving any one of them as a county to be searched will reveal the entry, for example entries originally referring to Bristol C.B. but not stating a county, are now indexed under both Gloucestershire and Somerset and a search application giving either county will reveal the entry.

However, when the name of a county borough was given in addition to a county name, for example Bristol, Somerset, or Bristol, Gloucestershire, the entry is indexed only under the stated county. Such an entry will not therefore be revealed unless a search correctly states the county under which it has been indexed.

3.3.3 Greater London

You must give ‘Greater London’ as the county to be searched if you require a search within the Greater London area. However, wherever it is possible that an original registration may have referred to a former county, such as Surrey, Kent or Middlesex, you must give that county as the former county in your application for search. The reason for this is that an entry held in the index under, say, Surrey, will not be revealed by a search of Greater London only. If London was specified as the county in the original registration, the entry will be revealed in a search of Greater London.

3.3.4 Former administrative areas

With various reorganizations of local government, the administrative areas have changed over the years. These changes have been reflected in the lists of administrative areas used by the Land Charges Department. See Appendix C: administrative areas in England and Wales used by the Land Charges Department for further information.

As stated in County boroughs, where a county borough name was given in a registration made before 1 April 1974 the entries will have been indexed under the relevant county or counties. You must bear in mind that no further alteration will be made to these entries to make them refer to any subsequent change of name introduced by new legislation, for example registrations which originally only referred to Leeds County Borough will have been indexed under Yorkshire, however, the index will not have been further altered to refer to the new county of West Yorkshire.

3.4 Period to be searched

You must give the period to be searched in whole calendar years, for example From:1959 To: 1970. If you need to search only one year, insert the same year in both panels, for example From: 1959 To: 1959.

You should search the period during which each named estate owner owned the land. You will be able to determine the relevant period(s) from the abstract of title. Please note that it is possible to register a land charge against a deceased estate owner after their death, so when purchasing from personal representatives, any search made against the deceased should cover a period including the time from their death to the current date. For example, John Richard Hamilton bought a property in 1984 and died in 2014. The search request should cover the period from 1984 to the current date.

3.5 Registers of pending actions, writ and orders and deeds of arrangement

Regardless of the period of ownership or the county/counties given in your application, any subsisting entry indexed under the name searched in the pending actions, writ and orders and deeds of arrangement registers will be disclosed in the certificate of the result of search. This is because there may be occasions, as in relation to bankruptcy, when such an entry, even though made outside the period of ownership, may still have an important bearing on the title and these entries only remain in the registers for a limited time. Under section 8 of the Land Charges Act 1972, these entries automatically expire (unless renewed) after five years. If you only require a search of these three registers please see Bankruptcy only searches.

Pending actions in bankruptcy and receiving orders in bankruptcy (bankruptcy orders) are designated by the acronyms “PA(B)” and “WO(B)” respectively; the suffix “(B)” distinguishes bankruptcy related entries from other pending action and writ or order entries.

3.6 Bankruptcy only searches

If you require a ‘bankruptcy only’ search you must lodge your application in form K16.

A ‘bankruptcy only’ search will reveal creditor petitions in bankruptcy made to the court, debtor applications for bankruptcy made to the adjudicator, receiving orders in bankruptcy and deeds of arrangement. The certificate of result of search will also include other entries not necessarily confined to bankruptcy held in the same registers, for example petitions and writs relating to court proceedings affecting land.

A conveyancer who is acting for a lender should make a bankruptcy only search against the borrower and against any guarantor(s) of the mortgage, whether or not the land that is the subject of the transaction is registered or unregistered. This is because no lender will lend to a bankrupt. If an adverse entry is revealed, the conveyancer should establish whether the borrower is the person to whom the entry relates. He may do this by obtaining an office copy entry and enquiring of the Official Receiver’s office.

Certificates of the result of search are issued either in form K17 (no subsisting entries) or K18 (entries revealed).

Note: A certificate of the result of search has no statutory effect with regard to registered land: sections 28 to 31 and 87 of the Land Registration Act 2002 and section14 of the Land Charges Act 1972.

3.7.1 Certificate in form K17

Where a search does not reveal any subsisting entry in the index registered against the name(s) given in your application, a certificate of the result of search in form K17 is issued. The certificate records the particulars upon which the search has been based: the county or counties, unitary authority or unitary authorities; each name and the period covered by the search. (Where the result is in respect of a bankruptcy only search, there is no reference to any period covered.) You should therefore check the accuracy of these particulars (see section 10(6) of the Land Charges Act 1972).

3.7.2 Certificate in form K18

Where a search reveals subsisting entries in the index registered against the name(s) given in your application, a certificate of the result of search in form K18 is issued. The certificate records the particulars upon which the search has been based: the county or counties; each name and the period covered by the search. (Where the result is in respect of a bankruptcy only search, there is no reference to any period covered.) You should therefore check the accuracy of these particulars (see section 10(6) of the Land Charges Act 1972). Where entries have been revealed, the details of each entry, are given beneath the name against which the entries have been found. If no entries have been revealed for a name the statement ‘NO SUBSISTING ENTRY’ will be given beneath the name.

3.7.3 Particulars of charges revealed

The details taken from the index are identified by code numbers as follows:

  1. type of registration (for a land charge the class and sub-class of the charge are included), the registration number and the date of registration

  2. any short description of the land that is recorded in the index

  3. parish, place or district

  4. county or unitary authority

  5. additional information regarding the entry, for example a partial cancellation or reference to a priority notice

  6. title, trade or profession of the chargor where this is recorded in the index

3.7.4 Certificates in respect of bankruptcy only searches

The words ‘BANKRUPTCY ONLY’ are entered against ‘County or Counties’ in the certificate of the result of search in respect of a ‘Bankruptcy only’ search. A note explains the limitations of this type of search, see Bankruptcy only searches.

3.7.5 Period of protection

Where a purchaser has obtained a certificate of the result of search, any entry made in the register after the date of the certificate and before the completion of the purchase, which is not made pursuant to a priority notice entered in the register on or before the date of the certificate, will not affect the purchaser if the purchase is completed before the expiration of the fifteenth working day after the date of the certificate (section 11 of the Land Charges Act 1972).

The date of expiry of the period of protection is included in every certificate of the result of search.

Protection under a certificate of the result of search will end on the date of completion of the purchase if that date is within the period of protection.

The priority period given by land charges searches cannot be extended. If completion is delayed then a new search application must be made.

3.7.6 Certificate date

Every certificate of the result of search will include a ‘certificate date’. This date is significant because:

  • it is the latest date on which the index was updated
  • entries, limited to the period of the search applied for, registered up to and including this date, will be revealed in the certificate
  • it is the date when the period of protection commences

3.7.7 Names in a certificate

A certificate of the result of search displays a private individual’s name(s) with the forename(s) first, followed by the surname, which is enclosed by asterisks to simplify identification, for example Joseph William Hardcastle.

A certificate of the result of search may include an entry that appears in the index under a name which you did not apply to search. This is because of differences in the spacing or in the combination of portions of the name. It will be obvious when this does occur, for example Joyce Lyn West and Joycelyn West; Paul Hamilton Jones and Paul Hamilton-Jones; Johann Van Der Keen and Johann Van Der Keen etc.

Note 1: Where an entry under an extra name has been revealed in this way, that name will not have been fully searched.

Note 2: Where formal titles, such as Sir, Honourable, etc., given in an application for search are enclosed in brackets, they will not be reproduced in the certificate of the result of search.

3.7.8 Certificate number

Every certificate of the result of search is allocated a unique certificate number: the ‘Certificate number’. You must quote the certificate number and the certificate date in any enquiries regarding the certificate.

You are responsible for ensuring that the certificate of result of search reflects the correct details for the search (section 10(6) of the Land Charges Act 1972).

Because the index is basically an index of names, it is possible that irrelevant entries will appear in the certificate of the result of search. If this occurs and the purchaser’s conveyancer is uncertain whether or not an entry affects the land being purchased, they should either:

  • ask the vendor’s conveyancer for confirmation that the entry doesn’t relate to the land in question
  • apply for cancellation of the entry - see Applications for cancellation
  • obtain any necessary consents in accordance with section 43 of the Law of Property Act 1925

Either party who requires further details of the entry may apply for an office copy of the registration document.

3.7.10 Methods for issuing a certificate

The certificate of the result of search, K17 or K18, is usually issued to you in paper format by post or DX.

However, certificates of the result of search will, in the circumstances set out below, be issued in electronic format to Business e-services, Business Gateway and NLIS applicants.

Except as mentioned below, an electronic certificate of the result of search will be issued by way of a PDF file when an applicant:

  • has made a form K15 or K16 search via Business e-services, Business Gateway or NLIS
  • has requested that the certificate of the result of search is issued in electronic format (ie by way of a PDF file)

The PDF file the applicant receives is the certificate of the result of search and so a certificate will not be issued in paper form.

An electronic certificate cannot be provided where the names to be searched are either complex names, such as Peers of the Realm or unlimited companies or corporations or a local authority. In these circumstances a paper certificate of result of search will always be issued by post or DX.

4. Office copies

You may request an office copy of the entry in the register to obtain further details of a registration.

An application for an office copy of an entry in the register must be made using Form K19.

You must provide the following details:

On or after 6 April 2016 (subject to any transitional arrangements) where an application is made for an office copy of a pending action in bankruptcy that relates to a debtor’s bankruptcy application to an adjudicator, the office copy will be issued as a legible pdf version of the adjudicator’s application for registration of that application as a land charge. This is because the adjudicator’s application for registration will be made electronically and the office copy will be a pdf of the electronic data submitted to the Land Charges Department.

5. Applications for cancellation (rules 9 and 10 of the Land Charges Rules 1974)

An application for the cancellation of an entry in the register (other than a land charge of Class F or cancellation of a PA(B) entry relating to a bankruptcy application made to the adjudicator) must be made using form K11.

An application for cancellation of a PA(B) entry relating to a bankruptcy application made to the adjudicator must be made using promulgated form K11(ADJ). For further information about applications to cancel bankruptcy related (PA(B) and WO(B)) entries, see Bankruptcy entries at Land Charges Department and their cancellation.

An application for cancellation of a land charge of Class F must be made using form K13.

The Land Charges Department will reject any applications for cancellation where:

  • the application form is not signed
  • the applicant’s name shown on the application form does not match the name of the original charge (or the name of the debtor in the case of form K11(ADJ) and no supporting evidence of devolution is lodged
  • an incorrect land charges reference number is quoted on the application form (form K11(ADJ) only - either or both of the adjudicator’s unique reference number and the land charges reference number is/are omitted)
  • the whole or part box is not completed on the application form (not applicable to form K11(ADJ))
  • fees are not enclosed and there is no key number on the form (key number applies to form K11(ADJ) only if lodged by a conveyancer)
  • there is no indication of the capacity in which the applicant is making the application

Unless the applicant is the person on whose behalf the registration was made and is entitled to the benefit of the entry, sufficient evidence of the title to apply for cancellation must be supplied. (For an application in form K11(ADJ), a copy of the adjudicator’s letter of refusal (ADJAR), or letter of confirmation of refusal (ADJREVU), or letter informing the debtor of the court’s decision (ACKAPU), must be supplied).

The nature of the evidence will depend on the facts of each case. In particular, your attention is drawn to the special problems that may arise when cancellation of an entry relating to restrictive covenants is sought. The law on this subject is complex and it is seldom possible to deduce title to the benefit of restrictive covenants effectively.

An application for cancellation of a land charge of class D(ii), see Appendix D: Land charges registers – can be considered, in the absence of an appropriate order of the court or of the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal (formerly the Lands Tribunal), only if it can be shown:

  • that the extent of the benefiting land was precisely defined in the instrument which imposed the covenants
  • that all the relevant parties having an interest in that land have executed a sufficient release, or are parties to the application for cancellation

The registrar cannot make ‘judicial decisions’ so that where, for example, there is a restrictive covenant which requires the consent of the covenantee to building or other works and the covenantee has died or is otherwise not available, the registrar will not decide, on the evidence, whether or not the covenant has been discharged. Application should be made to the Court or Upper Tribunal in such circumstances (See Mahon v Sims [2005] 3 EGLR, Margerison v Bates [2008] EWHC 1211, and City Inn (Jersey) Ltd v Ten Trinity Square Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 156).

5.1 Cancellation of whole or part of an entry

You may apply for the cancellation of either the whole or part of an entry in the register in form K11 or K13, as appropriate. Whenever a land charge is wholly cancelled the entry is also deleted from the index. If the entry is only partly cancelled, the effect of the cancellation is noted against the entry in the register and also in the index. A certificate of the result of search, subsequent to the registration of a part cancellation, will reveal the entry together with the details of the part cancellation. However, if numerous part cancellations affect an entry, the index may not carry the full details of each part cancellation and would simply contain a note stating that various part cancellations affect the entry. If an entry containing this note is revealed in a certificate of the result of search, you may obtain fuller details of the actual part cancellations by applying for an office copy of the entry, see Office copies.

Note: The above does not apply to cancellation of the land charges registration of a debtor’s bankruptcy application to the adjudicator, since a successful application will normally mean that the entire entry will be deleted from the index.

5.2 Cancellation in special circumstances (rule 10 of the Land Charges Rules 1974)

You may write to the Land Charges Department and request the registrar to allow cancellation in form K12 (Application for cancellation of an entry in the Register under special directions of the Registrar) if you consider that to apply for the cancellation of an entry in the prescribed manner:

  • would result in exceptional hardship and expense for you
  • the land charge or other matter protected by the entry has been discharged, overreached or is of no effect

You must state all the relevant facts and lodge any supporting documentary evidence. If accepted the Land Charges Department will issue a direction for cancellation in form K12.

There must be exceptional grounds for a cancellation in form K12 to be considered. The Land Charges Department will not issue a direction for cancellation in form K12 simply because the use of the prescribed cancellation method is inconvenient or troublesome.

5.3 Acknowledgment of cancellation

An application for cancellation will be acknowledged in form K22 (Acknowledgment of an application).

The acknowledgment will contain details of:

  • the type of application
  • the official reference number allocated
  • the date of cancellation
  • the particulars of the entry deleted from the index
  • the applicant’s reference
  • the applicant’s key number
  • the applicant’s name and address.

It is in your own interest to check the details and to notify the Land Charges Department of any apparent inaccuracies.

5.3.1 Previous cancellations

If you require confirmation that an entry has been previously cancelled, you must lodge your application in the prescribed form K20 (Application for a certificate of the cancellation of an entry in the register).

5.4 Bankruptcy entries at the Land Charges Department and their cancellation

5.4.1 Land charges register entries

On 6 April 2016 the provisions of section 71 and Schedules 18 and 19 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 came into force, introducing a new online process for individual debtors to apply for their own bankruptcy to an adjudicator in the Insolvency Service. (Creditor petitions for a debtor’s bankruptcy remain unaffected and will still be lodged at court.)

On and after 6 April 2016, when a bankruptcy petition is presented by a creditor to the court, the Court Service notifies the Land Charges Department and applies for the creditor’s petition to be registered as a pending action in bankruptcy (a PA(B)). The entry in the land charges register looks something like this:

JOHN * SMITH *

(1) P.A. (B) No. 12345 DATED 1 AUG 2015

(5) COUNTY COURT AT OXFORD NO 445 of 2015

(6) BUILDER AND DECORATOR

(7) 3 ACACIA AVENUE BEDFORD

When a debtor makes a bankruptcy application to the adjudicator, the Insolvency Service notifies the Land Charges Department and applies for the debtor’s application to be registered as a pending action in bankruptcy (a PA(B)). The entry in the land charges register looks something like this:

JOHN * SMITH *

(1) PA(B) No. 12345 DATED 1 AUG 2016

(5) OFFICE OF THE ADJUDICATOR NO BKT 56789 of 2016

(6) BUILDER AND DECORATOR

(7) 3 ACACIA AVENUE BEDFORD

When a bankruptcy petition is presented to the court, or a bankruptcy application is made to the adjudicator, one effect is that subsequent disposals of certain property will generally be void if a bankruptcy order is made, unless the court consents to the disposal. This property includes any land of which the debtor is the sole beneficial owner. Anyone intending to buy such a property is unlikely to proceed if there is a bankruptcy petition or application registered in the land charges register against the debtor’s name or a bankruptcy notice in the title register of the property.

When a bankruptcy order is made by the court or the adjudicator, making the debtor bankrupt, the Official Receiver notifies the Land Charges Department and applies for the bankruptcy order to be registered as a receiving order in bankruptcy (a WO(B)). The relevant entries in the land charges register look something like this:

(a) Order made by court

JOHN * SMITH *

(1) WO(B) No. 12345 DATED 1 SEPT 2015

(5) COUNTY COURT AT OXFORD NO. 445 of 2015

(6) BUILDER AND DECORATOR

(7) 3 ACACIA AVENUE BEDFORD

(b) Order made by adjudicator

JOHN SMITH

(1) WO(B) No. 12345 DATED 1 SEPT 2016

(5) OFFICE OF THE ADJUDICATOR NO. BKT 56789 of 2016

(6) BUILDER AND DECORATOR

(7) 3 ACACIA AVENUE BEDFORD

When making the entries in the register, the Land Charges Department relies on the information that the Court or the Insolvency Service or the Official Receiver supplies. The Land Charges Department then informs Land Registry of all new bankruptcy petitions and applications and orders (see Bankruptcy entries at Land Registry and their cancellation).

5.5 Cancellation of bankruptcy entries at the Land Charges Department

It is up to the debtor/bankrupt to apply for cancellation of bankruptcy entries at the Land Charges Department; the court or adjudicator will not make the application. A debtor who is the sole owner of registered land or who has a charge (mortgage) over registered land will also need to apply to Land Registry for removal of any related bankruptcy notice or bankruptcy restriction from the title register (see Bankruptcy entries at Land Registry and their cancellation).

Where the bankruptcy (PA(B)) entry relates to a creditor’s bankruptcy petition (the entry will refer to the name of a court and contain a court reference, as illustrated above), you should apply using form K11 and pay the appropriate fee. A separate form K11 and fee is required for each bankruptcy entry to be removed. The Land Charges Department can advise the current fee required (see Land Registry: Land Charges fees). The application must be accompanied by a copy of the court order (pursuant to section 1(6) of the Land Charges Act 1972) that expressly provides for the cancellation (or ’vacation’) of the bankruptcy entry in the land charges register under the reference number specified in the bankruptcy notice. The Land Charges Department will issue a certificate of cancellation when the application is successful and the PA(B) entry has been removed.

Where the bankruptcy (PA(B)) entry relates to a debtor’s bankruptcy application (the entry will refer to the office of the adjudicator and contain the adjudicator’s reference, as illustrated above), the debtor should complete form K11(ADJ) and pay the appropriate fee. Again, a separate form K11(ADJ) and fee is required for each bankruptcy entry to be removed. The application must be accompanied by a copy of one of the following.

  • Adjudicator’s letter of refusal to make a bankruptcy order (this will bear a designation “ADJAR”).
  • Adjudicator’s letter confirming refusal to make a bankruptcy order (following a review of the initial decision) (“ADJREVU”).
  • Adjudicator’s letter informing debtor of the court’s decision to refuse a bankruptcy order (following an appeal by the debtor to the court) (“ACKAPU”).

The Land Charges Department will issue a certificate of cancellation when the application has been successful and the PA(B) entry has been removed.

To cancel the land charges (WO(B)) registration of a bankruptcy order, application should be made on form K11, accompanied by the appropriate fee and a copy of a court order that rescinds or annuls the bankruptcy order and (pursuant to section 1(6) of the Land Charges Act 1972) also expressly provides for the cancellation (or “vacation”) of the registration of the bankruptcy order under the same reference number as appears in the land charge entry. A certificate of discharge from bankruptcy is not sufficient for this purpose (unless the court also expressly orders cancellation of the land charge entry) because – unlike most orders annulling a bankruptcy order – the bankrupt’s property remains vested in the trustee in bankruptcy and does not re-vest automatically in the former bankrupt upon discharge.

The Land Charges Department will issue a certificate of cancellation when the application has been successful and the WO(B) entry has been removed.

5.6 Bankruptcy entries at Land Registry and their cancellation

Following the registration of a PA(B) or WO(B) in the Land Charges Department, Land Registry is notified of the particulars of the debtor or bankrupt. section 86 of the Land Registration Act 2002 requires the registrar to enter a bankruptcy notice or bankruptcy restriction, as appropriate, in any registered title that appears to be affected. The wording of a bankruptcy notice entered in the title register in respect of a bankruptcy petition or bankruptcy application is along the lines of the following:

“BANKRUPTCY NOTICE entered under section 86(2) of the Land Registration Act 2002 in respect of a pending action, as the title of the proprietor of the registered [(estate) or (charge)] appears to be affected by a [(petition in bankruptcy against [name of debtor] presented in the [name] Court (Court Reference Number……) (Land Charges Reference Number PA……..)) or (bankruptcy application made by [name of debtor] (reference [adjudicator reference]….) (Land Charges Reference Number PA…..))].”

The wording of a bankruptcy restriction entered in the title register in respect of a bankruptcy order made by the court or the adjudicator is along the lines of the following:

“BANKRUPTCY RESTRICTION entered under section 86(2) of the Land Registration Act 2002 as the title of the proprietor of the [(registered estate) or (charge)] appears to be affected by a bankruptcy order made by [(the [name] Court (Court Reference Number….) or (the adjudicator (Reference Number….)] (Land Charges Reference Number WO….). No disposition of the [(registered estate) or (charge)] is to be registered until the trustee in bankruptcy of the property of the bankrupt is registered as proprietor of the [(registered estate) or (charge)].”

When a registration of a bankruptcy petition or order is cancelled at the Land Charges Department (for example, upon a petition being dismissed or order annulled) or ceases by expiration of time, the bankruptcy notice or bankruptcy restriction entered against a registered title will not be cancelled unless a separate specific (successful) application is made to Land Registry.

5.6.1 Bankruptcy notice

You must apply using form AP1, accompanied (in the case of a creditor’s petition, or a debtor’s bankruptcy petition lodged at court before 6 April 2016) by a copy of the court order under which the bankruptcy petition has been dismissed or withdrawn, or the subsequent bankruptcy order has been rescinded or annulled. The court order must also expressly authorise cancellation of the pending action (PA(B)) entry in the land charges register under the reference number specified in the bankruptcy notice. No fee is payable. The application should be sent to Land Registry’s Bankruptcy Unit, Land Registry Plymouth Office, Seaton Court, 2 William Prance Road, Plymouth PL6 5WS (telephone 0300 006 6107).

In the case of a debtor’s bankruptcy application made to the adjudicator on or after 6 April 2016, the form AP1 must be accompanied by a copy of the adjudicator’s letter of refusal (ADJAR), or letter of confirmation of refusal (ADREVU) or letter confirming the court’s decision on appeal (ACKAPU). Again, no fee is payable and the application should be sent to Land Registry’s Bankruptcy Unit.

A bankruptcy notice may be cancelled on an application accompanied by a Land Charges Department ‘certificate of cancellation’ in form K20 or ‘acknowledgement of application for cancellation’ in form K22, but not if there is a bankruptcy restriction already registered in respect of the same proceedings.

5.6.2 Bankruptcy restriction

To cancel a bankruptcy restriction, application should be made in form AP1, accompanied by a copy of the court order that rescinds or annuls the bankruptcy order. The order must also expressly authorize cancellation of the entry in the land charges register under the reference number that corresponds with that specified in the bankruptcy restriction (and any bankruptcy notice).

A court order under section 1(6) of the Land Charges Act 1972 ordering only that the registration of a bankruptcy petition or application and/or a bankruptcy order be vacated (under section 5 of the Land Charges Act 1972) will be sufficient to enable cancellation of the corresponding land charges entry (or entries) subject to an appropriate application in form K11 (with fee) being lodged at the Land Charges Department.

However, such an order is insufficient to cancel a bankruptcy restriction because there is no evidence on the face of the order that the bankruptcy order has been rescinded or annulled, and so it has no effect on the vesting of property, unlike an order annulling or rescinding a bankruptcy order.

A certificate of discharge from bankruptcy is also insufficient to cancel a bankruptcy restriction since any land or charge (whether registered or unregistered) which has vested in the trustee in bankruptcy will remain so vested and not re-vest in the discharged bankrupt. See practice guide 34: personal insolvency.

A certificate of cancellation in form K20, or acknowledgement of application for cancellation in form K22, issued by the Land Charges Department is also insufficient to cancel a bankruptcy restriction. This is because the Land Charges Department may have cancelled bankruptcy entries on the basis of an order that only provides for vacation of bankruptcy entries at the Land Charges Department. The applicant must lodge the relevant order for consideration.

6. Methods of lodgement

Whichever method of lodgement you use you:

  • must lodge the relevant fee by cheque or postal order made payable to ‘Land Registry’ if you are not using a variable direct debit (please note that a variable direct debit must be used if you are applying through the portal)
  • must provide the key number when using a variable direct debit
  • should provide your reference
  • must provide the full alternative postal or DX address if you require a certificate of the result of search or an office copy to be sent to a different address

6.1 Applications for registration and cancellation

6.1.1 Post or DX

You may lodge your application for registration, renewal of registration, priority notice or cancellation by post or DX. You must send your application to the Land Charges Department; see Address for applications for the address details.

6.1.2 Personal attendance at Plymouth Office Customer Information Centre

You may also lodge your application in person at Plymouth Office Customer Information Centre, which is open between 8.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays). You must make an appointment, giving at least 24 hours’ notice.

To make an appointment you can either:

You must provide either the relevant completed application form or provide all the details required to complete the form. The form must signed either by the person with the benefit of the charge or by the conveyancer who is acting.

Any application made between 3pm on one day and 3pm on the next day shall be deemed to have been made immediately before 3pm on the second day (rule 8 of the Land Charges Rules 1974).

6.2 Official search and office copy

You may lodge your application by a variety of different methods.

6.2.1 Post or DX

You must send your application to the Land Charges Department; see Address for applications for the address details.

6.2.2 Fax

You must hold a variable direct debit account to use this service. You must use the prescribed form K15, K16 or K19 and fax it to: 0300 006 6699.

The service is available between 8am Monday and 4pm Friday excluding:

  • public holidays
  • after 4pm on the day before a public holiday
  • before 8am on the day after a public holiday

Note 1: Certificates of the result of search and office copies will not be issued by fax. They will be issued to you by post or DX.

Note 2: Any communication sent to you by fax will be sent only between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.

6.2.3 Land Registry Business e-services delivered through the portal

You must be a registered Business e-services user through the portal and have a variable direct debit account to use this service.

Bankruptcy searches (K16), Full searches (K15) and Office copies (K19) Land Charges Department e-services are available through the portal.

These web-based services enable you to lodge applications from a remote terminal direct to our computer system. You must enter all the details requested as you would for a form K15, K16 or K19 application.

Electronic delivery of results is available for Bankruptcy search, Full search and Registration view.

The service is available between 6.30am and 10pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays and between 7am and 5pm Saturdays excluding Christmas Day.

6.2.4 Business Gateway

This is a service that enables conveyancers to interface directly with Land Registry Business e-services using their case management system.

Bankruptcy searches (K16) and Full searches (K15) are available through Business Gateway.

Electronic delivery of results are available for Bankruptcy searches and Full searches.

6.2.5 Personal attendance at Plymouth Office Customer Information Centre

You may lodge your application in person at Plymouth Office Customer Information Centre, which is open between 8.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays). You must make an appointment, giving at least 24 hours’ notice.

To make an appointment you can either:

You must provide either a completed form K15, K16 or K19, as appropriate or provide all the details required to complete the form.

7. Fees

The fees payable in respect of land charges applications, official searches and office copies are prescribed by the Land Charges Fee Rules 1990 (as amended by the Land Charges Fees (Amendment) Rules 2012) or by any rules that supersede them.

For information on both the Land Charges Department fees and agricultural credits fees please see Land Registry: Land Charges fees and Land Registry: Agricultural Credits fees.

You may pay the fee by either:

  • by cheque or postal order (both of which must be made payable to ‘Land Registry’) or in cash if you are lodging your application in person at Land Charges Customer Information Centre
  • by variable direct debit payment

Note: Some services are available to users of variable direct debit only, as explained throughout this guide.

7.1 Variable direct debit

Land Registry is now able to offer customers the opportunity to pay fees for all Land Charges Department services by variable direct debit. Payment by variable direct debit can be used for any application lodged by post or via our e-services. It must be used for applications lodged through the portal.

Variable direct debit is a payment scheme that protects the interests of the payer with a guarantee. The direct debit guarantee provides assurance to the payer that any money debited in error will be immediately refunded by the payer’s bank.

Further details are available by email from creditaccounts@landregistry.gov.uk (including name, organisation, address details, phone number and existing variable direct debit account number (if appropriate)).

8. Agricultural credits

Under section 9(2) of the Agricultural Credits Act 1928 the registrar is required to keep a register of agricultural charges. The agricultural charges section is maintained within the Land Charges Department.

Agricultural credits charges are registered against the names of farmers who have borrowed money on the security of their stock and assets. You should register an agricultural charge within seven working days of execution of the charge (section 9(1) of the Agricultural Credits Act 1928).

Under section 1 of the Agricultural Credits Act 1928 the register shall contain the following particulars:

  • the date of the instrument creating the charge
  • the name(s) of the farmer(s) or society whose farming stock and assets are affected
  • the amount of the loan
  • whether the charge is fixed or floating or both
  • the name and address of the bank in whose favour the charge is made
  • any additional or alternative particulars, if any, as the registrar may determine

8.1 Application forms

You must lodge applications in the prescribed form. You may lodge your application only by post or DX.

  • AC1 Application for registration of memorandum of an agricultural charge: registration in farmer’s name.
  • AC2 Application for registration under the section 14 Agricultural Credits Act 1928 of a memorandum of debenture of an agricultural society: registration in the name of an agricultural society.
  • AC3 Application for cancellation of an entry in the register on proof of discharge.
  • AC4 Application for a certificate that a registration has been cancelled.
  • AC5 Application for a certified copy of the memorandum filed in the registry under the Act.
  • AC6 Application for an official search.
  • AC7 Application for the rectification of an entry in the register.

If you wish to make a personal search, you should apply in form AC8 as follows:

‘I (or WE) ………………………… of ………………………… apply to make a Search in the Register against the undermentioned names.

Dated this ………………………… day of …………………………, 192…………………………’

8.2 Fees

The fees payable in respect of agricultural credits applications are prescribed by the Agricultural Credits Fee Order 1985 or by any order that supersedes it.

8.3 Enquiries

Please see Agricultural credits for details of who to contact if you have an enquiry or require further information regarding Agricultural Credits.

9. Enquiries and comments

The following sections contain details of whom to contact if you have an enquiry or require further information about the services referred to in this guide.

9.1 Address for applications

If you are lodging your application by post or DX please address it to:

Land Charges Department
PO Box 292
Plymouth
PL5 9BY

(DX 8249 Plymouth 3)

9.2 General Land Charges enquiry

If you have a general enquiry about Land Charges applications or services please contact:

Land Charges Department
PO Box 292
Plymouth
PL5 9BY

(DX 8249 Plymouth 3)

Telephone (available between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays) 0300 006 6616.

9.3 Variable direct debit accounts

If you have an enquiry about variable direct debit please contact the accounts section:

9.4 Agricultural credits

If you have an enquiry or would like further information about agricultural credits please contact:

Agricultural Credits Department
PO Box 292
Plymouth
PL5 9BY

(DX 8249 Plymouth 3)

Phone: 0300 006 6616

9.5 Business e-services and Business Gateway

If you would like further information about, or would like to subscribe to Land Registry Business e-services and Business Gateway please contact Customer Support:

10. Appendix A: official searches against The Sovereign, The Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall and The Crown Estate Commissioners

The following information and guidance is in respect of searches against:

  • The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty in right of Her Crown
  • The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty in right of Her private estates
  • The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty in right of Her Duchy of Lancaster
  • The Duchy of Cornwall
  • His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales as Duke of Cornwall
  • The Crown Estate Commissioners

You should give the name(s) to be searched in full. However, in order to simplify the searching process, the registrar agrees to make the search in accordance with the special arrangements detailed below. You must:

  • give the name(s) to be searched in exactly the manner shown below
  • provide the appropriate reference number for each name as shown below

Note: If you are lodging your application by post, DX or fax using form K15 you must enter the reference number in the left hand column of the form although it is headed ‘For Official Use Only’.

10.1 The Sovereign in right of The Crown

The Crown Estate Commissioners (Commissioners) do not normally deduce title when selling property belonging to Her Majesty in right of Her Crown. You should therefore apply to search:

Reference No. Name Period from Period to
1000167 The Crown Estate Commissioners 1855 [Current year]

A search will then be made against:

  • The Crown Estate Commissioners
  • The Commissioners of Crown Lands (a predecessor to the Commissioners)
  • The Commissioners of the Woods, Forests and Land Revenues (a predecessor to the Commissioners)
  • Her Majesty the Queen
  • His Majesty the King
  • The names of every sovereign since 1855

10.2 The Sovereign in right of The Private Estates

You are advised when acting in the purchase of any part of the Crown’s private estate from HM Queen Elizabeth II to search against each of the following sovereigns:

Reference No. Name Period from Period to
1000555 HM King George V 1910 1936
1000652 HM King Edward VIII 1936 1936
1000749 HM King George VI 1936 1952
1000846 HM Queen Elizabeth II 1952 [Current year]

Note: Please ensure that you include the appropriate reference number in your application.

However, if title is deduced and shows that the property came into the ownership of the sovereign on or after 6 February 1952, you need only search against HM Queen Elizabeth II and any previous owners who may be disclosed in the deduced title.

In all cases, no matter what form of name(s) was used in the application for registration to describe the sovereign, any relevant entries will be disclosed in a certificate of the result of search.

Note: No entries under the Land Charges Act 1972 have been registered against HM Queen Victoria or HM King Edward VII.

10.3 The Duchy of Lancaster

The Chancellor and Council of the Duchy of Lancaster do not normally deduce title when selling property belonging to Her Majesty in right of Her Duchy of Lancaster. You should therefore apply to search:

Reference No. Name Period from Period to
1000361 The Duchy of Lancaster 1855 [Current year]

A search will then be made against:

  • The Duchy of Lancaster
  • The Chancellor and Council of the Duchy of Lancaster
  • Her Majesty the Queen
  • His Majesty the King
  • The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty
  • The King’s Most Excellent Majesty
  • the names of every sovereign since 1855

10.4 The Duchy of Cornwall

To search the name of The Duchy of Cornwall you should apply to search:

Reference No. Name Period from Period to
1000458 The Duchy of Cornwall 1855 [Current year]

A search will be made against:

  • The Duchy of Cornwall
  • His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales
  • The Duke of Cornwall
  • every Duke of Cornwall since 1855
  • the names of every sovereign since 1855 (this is because there have been periods when there was no Duke)

11. Appendix B: official searches against certain livery companies, colleges and schools

The following information and guidance is in respect of searches against certain special names, including:

  • livery companies
  • Cambridge University colleges and halls
  • Oxford University colleges and halls
  • certain other schools, colleges and institutions

You should give the name(s) to be searched in full. However, in order to simplify the searching process, the registrar agrees to make the search against the full formal title whenever you give the commonly used shortened version of the name in your application.

You must provide the appropriate reference number for each name as shown below.

The lists:

  • comprise bodies against which entries under the Land Charges Act 1972 are known to exist
  • are not exhaustive

11.1 Livery companies

Reference No. Shortened version of the name Full formal title
1001040 Society of Apothecaries The Master, Wardens and Society of the Art and Mistery of Apothecaries of the City of London
1001137 Armourers’ and Brasiers’ Company The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers in the City of London
1001234 Bakers’ Company The Master Wardens and Commonality of the Mystery of Bakers of the City of London
1001331 Brewers’ Company The Master and Keepers or Wardens and Commonality of the Mistery or Art of Brewers of the City of London
1001428 Carpenters’ Company The Master, Wardens and Commonality of the Mistery of Freemen of the Carpentry of the City of London
1001525 Clothworkers’ Company The Master Wardens and Commonality of Freemen of the Art and Mistery of Clothworkers of the City of London
1001622 Worshipful Company of Cooks The Masters or Governors and Commonality of the Mistery of Cooks of London
1001719 Coopers’ Company The Master Wardens or Keepers of the Commonality of Freemen of the Mistery of Coopers of the City of London and the suburbs of the Same City
1001816 Drapers’ Company The Master and Wardens and Brethren and Sisters of the Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of the Mystery of Drapers of the City of London
1001913 Farriers’ Company The Worshipful Company of Farriers
1002010 Fishmongers’ Company The Wardens and Commonality of the Mistery of Fishmongers of the City of London
1002107 Founders’ Company The Worshipful Company of Founders
1002204 Gildlers’ Company The Master and Wardens or Keepers of the Art or Mistery of Gildlers, London
1002301 Goldsmiths’ Company The Wardens and Commonality of the Mystery of Goldsmiths of the City of London
1002495 Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers’ Company The Master Wardens Assistants and Commonality of the Art and Mystery of Drawing and Flatting of Gold and Silver Wyre and making and spinning of Gold and Silver Thread Stuff
1002592 Grocers’ Company The Wardens and Commonality of the Mistery of Grocers of the City of London
1002689 Haberdashers’ Company The Master and Four Wardens of the Fraturnity of the Art or Mystery of Haberdashers in the City of London
1002786 Worshipful Company of Innholders The Master, Wardens and Society of the Art or Mystery of Innholders of the City of London
1002883 Ironmongers’ Company The Master and Keepers or Wardens and Commonality of the Mystery or Art of Ironmongers London
1002980 Leathersellers’ Company The Wardens and Society of the Mistery or Art of Leathersellers of the City of London
1003077 Mercers’ Company The Wardens and Commonality of the Mystery of Mercers of the City of London
1003174 Merchant Taylors’ Company The Masters and Wardens of the Merchant Taylors of the Fraturnity of St John the Baptist in the City of London
1003271 Pewterers’ Company The Master and Wardens and Commonality of the Mystery of Pewterers of the City of London
1003368 Poulters’ Company The Master, Wardens and Assistants of Poulters of London
1003465 Saddlers’ Company The Wardens or Keepers and Commonality of the Mystery or Art of Saddlers of the City of London
1003562 Salters’ Company The Master, Wardens and Commonality of the Art or Mistery of Salters, London
1003659 Skinners’ Company The Master and Wardens of the Guild or Fraturnity of the Body of Christ of the Skinners of London
1003756 Tallow Chandlers Company The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers of the City of London or The Master, Warden and Commonality of the Mistery of Tallow Chandlers of the City of London
1003853 Tylers’ and Bricklayers’ Company The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers of the City of London
1003950 Vintners’ Company The Master Wardens and Freemen and Commonality of the Mystery of Vintners of the City of London

11.2 Cambridge University colleges and halls

Reference No. Shortened version of the name Full formal title
1057785 Cambridge University The Chancellor Master and Scholars of Cambridge University
1005017 Christ’s College, Cambridge The Master, Fellows and Scholars of Christ’s College in the University of Cambridge
1005114 Clare College, Cambridge The Master, Fellows and Scholars of Clare College in the University of Cambridge
1005308 Corpus Christi College Cambridge The Master, Fellows and Scholars of the College of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the University of Cambridge
1005405 Downing College, Cambridge The Master, Fellows and Scholars of Downing College in the University of Cambridge
1005502 Emmanuel College, Cambridge The Master Fellows and Scholars of Emmanuel College in the University of Cambridge
1005696 Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge The Master, Fellows and Scholars of Fitzwilliam College in the University of Cambridge
1005793 Girton College, Cambridge The Mistress, Fellows and Scholars of Girton College
1005890 Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge The Master and Fellows of Gonville and Caius College in the University of Cambridge founded in honour of the Annunciation of Blessed Mary the Virgin
1005987 Jesus College, Cambridge The Master or Keeper and Fellows and Scholars of the College of the Blessed Virgin Mary St John the Evangelist and the Glorious Virgin Saint Redegund Commonly called Jesus Christ in the University of Cambridge
1006084 King’s College, Cambridge The Provost and Scholars of the King’s College of our Lady and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge
1006181 Magdalene College, Cambridge The Master and Fellows of Magdalene College in the University of Cambridge founded in honour of St Mary Magdalene
1006278 New Hall, Cambridge The President and Fellows of New Hall in the University of Cambridge
1006569 Pembroke College, Cambridge The Master, Fellows and Scholars of the College or Hall of Valence-Mary, commonly called Pembroke College, in the University of Cambridge
1006666 Peterhouse, Cambridge The Master Fellows and Scholars of Peterhouse in the University of Cambridge
1006763 Queens’ College, Cambridge The President and Fellows of the Queens’ College of St Margaret and St Bernard, commonly called Queen’s College, in the University of Cambridge
1006860 St Catharine’s College, Cambridge The Master and Fellows of St Catharine’s College or Hall in the University of Cambridge
9343525 St John’s College, Cambridge The Master Fellows and Scholars of the College of St John the Evangelist in the University of Cambridge
1007054 Selwyn College, Cambridge The Master, Fellows and Scholars of Selwyn College
1007151 Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge The Master Fellows and Scholars of the College of the Lady Frances Sidney Sussex in the University of Cambridge
1007248 Trinity College, Cambridge The Master Fellows and Scholars of the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity Within the Town and University of Cambridge of King Henry the Eighth’s Foundation
1007345 Trinity Hall, Cambridge The Master Fellows and Scholars of the College or Hall of the Holy Trinity in the University of Cambridge

11.3 Oxford University colleges and halls

Reference No. Shortened version of the name Full formal title
1029849 Oxford University The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford
1008024 All Souls College, Oxford The Warden and College of the Souls of All Faithful People Deceased in the University of Oxford
1008121 Balliol College, Oxford The Master and Scholars of Balliol College in the University of Oxford
1008218 Brasenose College, Oxford The Principal and Scholars of the King’s Hall and College of Brasenose in Oxford
1008315 Corpus Christi College, Oxford The President and Scholars of Corpus Christi College in the University of Oxford
1008412 Exeter College, Oxford The Rector and Scholars of Exeter College in the University of Oxford
1008509 Hertford College, Oxford The Principal Fellows and Scholars of Hertford College in the University of Oxford
1008606 Jesus College, Oxford The Principal, Fellows and Scholars of Jesus College, within the City and University of Oxford, of Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation
1008703 Keble College, Oxford The Warden Fellows and Scholars of Keble College in the University of Oxford
1008897 Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford The College of the Lady Margaret in Oxford Commonly known as Lady Margaret Hall
1008994 Lincoln Hall, Oxford The Warden and Rector and Scholars of the College of the Blessed Mary and All Saints Lincoln in the University of Oxford commonly called Lincoln College
1009091 Magdalen College, Oxford The President and Scholars of the College of St Mary Magdalen in the University of Oxford
1009188 Merton College, Oxford The Warden and Scholars of the House or College of Scholars of Merton in the University of Oxford
1009285 New College, Oxford The Warden and Scholars of St Mary College of Winchester in Oxford commonly called New College in Oxford
1009382 Oriel College, Oxford The Provost and Scholars of the House of the Blessed Mary the Virgin in Oxford commonly called Oriel College of the Foundation of Edward the Second of Famous Memory sometime King of England
1009479 Pembroke College, Oxford The Master, Fellows and Scholars of Pembroke College in the University of Oxford
1009576 Queen’s College, Oxford The Provost and Scholars of Queen’s College in the University of Oxford
1009673 St Catherine’s College, Oxford St Catherine’s College in the University of Oxford
1009770 St Edmund Hall, Oxford The Principal Fellows and Scholars of Saint Edmund Hall in the University of Oxford
1009867 St John’s College The President and Scholars of Saint John Baptist College in the University of Oxford
1009964 Somerville College, Oxford The Principal and Fellows of Somerville College in the University of Oxford
1010061 Trinity College, Oxford The President Fellows and Scholars of the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in the University of Oxford of the Foundation of Sir Thomas Pope Knight Deceased
1010158 University College, Oxford The Master and Fellows of the College of the Great Hall of the University commonly called University College in the University of Oxford
1010255 Wadham College, Oxford The Warden Fellows and Scholars of Wadham College in the University of Oxford of the foundation of Nicholas Wadham, Esquire and Dorothy Wadham
1010352 Worcester College, Oxford The Provost, Fellows and Scholars of Worcester College in the University of Oxford

11.4 Schools and colleges

Reference No. Shortened version of the name Full formal title
1011031 Christ’s Hospital The Mayor and Commonality and Citizens of the City of London Governors of the Possessions Revenues and Goods of the Hospitals of Edward late King of England the Sixth of Christ Bridewell and St Thomas the Apostle as Governors of Christ’s Hospital
1011128 Dulwich College The Estate Governors of Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift at Dulwich
1011225 Eton College The Provost of the College Royal of the Blessed Mary of Eton near unto Windsor in the County of Buckinghamshire commonly called The King’s College of our Blessed Lady of Eton nigh or by Windsor in the said County of Buckinghamshire and the same college
1011322 Harrow School The Keepers and Governors of the Possession Revenue and Goods of the Free Grammar School of John Lyon within the Town of Harrow on the Hill in the London Borough of Harrow (formerly in the County of Middlesex)
1011419 Highgate School The Wardens and Governors of the possessions of the Free Grammar School of Sir Roger Cholmeley Knight in Highgate
1011516 Winchester College Saint Mary College of Winchester near Winchester (the seal is referred to as ‘The Common Seal of the Warden and Scholars Clerks of St Mary College of Winchester near Winchester’)

12. Appendix C: administrative areas in England and Wales used by the Land Charges Department

An application for registration of a land charge has to specify the administrative area in which the land is found, and this information is included in the register and the index. More precisely:

  • where the land is in the London area, you must give ‘Greater London’ as the ‘county’ and either the City of London or one of the London boroughs as the ‘district’
  • where the land is within a former Metropolitan County Council (for example, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Tyne & Wear, West Midlands, West Yorkshire or South Yorkshire), you must give the name of the former County Council as the ‘county’, and the name of the former Metropolitan District Council as the ‘district’ (for example, ‘West Yorkshire, Leeds’)
  • in all other cases, you must give the name of the unitary authority or, if there is not a unitary authority, the county and district in which the land falls (by ‘county’, we mean the administrative county rather than the historic or ceremonial county)

Similarly, an application for an official search of the index must specify the administrative area or areas to be searched against, although the applicant is not asked to specify a ‘district’. Only land charges for the specified unitary authority or county will be revealed.

With various reorganisations of local government, the administrative areas have changed over the years. Use the table below to work out which counties you may need to search against. For example if you are searching for entries relating to a property in Bristol from 1970 to 2000, you will need to search against Bristol as the current administrative area (a unitary authority), and also against the former counties Avon (1974-96) and either Somerset or Gloucestershire (pre 1974).

If you have any doubt about which administrative area the property fell within, we would suggest that you search against all that may be relevant. For example, in the example given in the previous paragraph, if you were unsure whether the property was formerly within Somerset or formerly within Gloucestershire, you could give both counties.

12.1 England

Current administrative area Former administrative areas you may also need to search against, with dates
Bath and NE Somerset Avon (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Somerset (before 1.4.1974)
Bedford Bedfordshire (before 1.4.2009)
Blackburn with Darwen Lancashire (before 1.4.1998)
Blackpool Lancashire (before 1.4.1998)
Bournemouth Dorset (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1997) Hampshire (before 1.4.1974)
Bracknell Forest Berkshire (before 1.4.1998)
Brighton & Hove East Sussex (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1997) Sussex (before 1.4.1974)
Bristol (city of) Avon (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Gloucestershire or Somerset (before 1.4.1974)
Buckinghamshire  
Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire or Huntingdonshire (before 1.4.1974)
Central Bedfordshire Bedfordshire (before 1.4.2009)
Cheshire East Cheshire (before 1.4.2009)
Cheshire West & Chester Cheshire (before 1.4.2009)
Cornwall (including Isles of Scilly)  
County Durham County Durham or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Cumbria Cumberland or Westmoreland or Lancashire or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Darlington County Durham (before 1.4.1997)
Derby (city of) Derbyshire (before 1.4.1997)
Derbyshire Derbyshire or Cheshire (before 1.4.1974)
Devon  
Dorset Dorset or Hampshire (before 1.4.1974)
East Riding of Yorkshire Humberside (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
East Sussex Sussex (before 1.4.1974)
Essex  
Gloucestershire  
Greater London Greater London or Middlesex or Kent or Surrey or Essex or Hertfordshire (before 1.4.1965)
Greater Manchester Cheshire or Lancashire or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Halton Cheshire (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1998) or Cheshire or Lancashire (before 1.4.1974)
Hampshire  
Hartlepool Cleveland (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or County Durham (before 1.4.1974)
Herefordshire Hereford and Worcester (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1998) or Herefordshire (before 1.4.1974)
Hertfordshire Hertfordshire or Middlesex (before 1.4.1965)
Isle of Wight Hampshire (before 1.4.1974)
Kent  
Kingston upon Hull (city of) Humberside (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Lancashire Lancashire or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Leicester Leicestershire (before 1.4.1997)
Leicestershire  
Lincolnshire  
Luton Bedfordshire (before 1.4.1997)
Medway Kent (before 1.4.1998)
Merseyside Cheshire or Lancashire (before 1.4.1974)
Middlesbrough Cleveland (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Milton Keynes Buckinghamshire (before 1.4.1997)
Norfolk Norfolk or Suffolk (before 1.4.1974)
North Lincolnshire Humberside (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Lincolnshire (before 1.4.1974)
North East Lincolnshire Humberside (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Lincolnshire (before 1.4.1974)
North Somerset Avon (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Somerset (before 1.4.1974)
North Yorkshire Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Northamptonshire  
Northumberland  
Nottingham (city of) Nottinghamshire (before 1.4.1998)
Nottinghamshire  
Oxfordshire Oxfordshire or Berkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Peterborough (city of) Cambridgeshire (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1998) or Huntingdonshire (1.4.1965 – 31.3.1974) or Northamptonshire or Cambridgeshire (before 1.4.1965)
Plymouth (city of) Devon (before 1.4.1998)
Poole Dorset (before 1.4.1997)
Portsmouth Hampshire (before 1.4.1997)
Reading Berkshire (before 1.4.1998)
Redcar and Cleveland Cleveland (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Rutland Leicestershire (1.4.1974 – 1.4.1997) or Rutland (before 1.4.1974)
Salop (Shropshire)  
Slough Berkshire (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1998) or Buckinghamshire (before 1.4.1974)
Somerset  
South Gloucestershire Avon (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Gloucestershire (before 1.4.1974)
South Yorkshire Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire (before 1.4.1974)
Southampton Hampshire (before 1.4.1997)
Southend on Sea Essex (before 1.4.1998)
Staffordshire  
Stockton on Tees Cleveland (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or County Durham or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Stoke on Trent Staffordshire (before 1.4.1997)
Suffolk  
Surrey Surrey or Middlesex (before 1.4.1965)
Swindon Thamesdown (1.4.1997 – 23.4.1997) or Wiltshire (before 1.4.1997)
Thurrock Essex (before 1.4.1998)
Torbay Devon (before 1.4.1998)
Tyne and Wear Northumberland or Durham (before 1.4.1974)
Warrington Cheshire (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1998) or Lancashire or Cheshire (before 1.4.1974)
Warwickshire  
West Berkshire Berkshire (before 1.4.1998)
West Midlands Warwickshire or Staffordshire or Worcestershire (before 1.4.1974)
West Sussex Sussex or Surrey (before 1.4.1974)
West Yorkshire Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)
Wiltshire  
Windsor & Maidenhead Berkshire (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1998) or Berkshire or Buckinghamshire (before 1.4.1974)
Wokingham Berkshire (before 1.4.1998)
Worcestershire Hereford and Worcester (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1998) or Worcestershire (before 1.4.1974)
Wrekin Shropshire (before 1.4.1998)
York North Yorkshire (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Yorkshire (before 1.4.1974)

12.2 Wales

Current administrative area   Former administrative areas you may also need to search against, with dates
English name Welsh name  
Blaenau Gwent Blaenau Gwent Gwent (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Monmouthshire or Brecknockshire (before 1.4.1974)
Bridgend Pen-y-Bont ar Ogwr Mid Glamorgan (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Glamorgan (before 1.4.1974)
Caerphilly Caerffili Mid Glamorgan or Gwent (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Glamorgan or Monmouthshire (before 1.4.1974)
Cardiff Sir Caerdydd South Glamorgan or Mid Glamorgan (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Glamorgan (before 1.4.1974)
Carmarthenshire Sir Gaerfyrddin Dyfed (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Carmarthenshire (before 1.4.1974)
Ceredigion Sir Ceredigion Dyfed (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Cardiganshire (before 1.4.1974)
Conwy Conwy Clwyd or Gwynedd (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Caernarvonshire or Denbighshire (before 1.4.1974)
Denbighshire Sir Ddinbych Clwyd (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Denbighshire or Flintshire or Merionethshire (before 1.4.1974)
Flintshire Sir y Fflint Clwyd (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996)
Gwynedd Gwynedd Caernarvonshire or Merionethshire (before 1.4.1974)
Isle of Anglesey Sir Ynys Mon Gwynedd (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Anglesey (before 1.4.1974)
Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tudful Mid Glamorgan (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Glamorgan or Brecknockshire (before 1.4.1974)
Monmouthshire Sir Fynwy Gwent (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Monmouthshire and Brecknockshire (before 1.4.1974)
Neath Port Talbot Castell-Nedd Port Talbot West Glamorgan (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Glamorgan (before 1.4.1974)
Newport Casnewydd Gwent (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Monmouthshire (before 1.4.1974)
Pembrokeshire Sir Benfro Pembrokeshire or Carmarthenshire (1.4.1996 – 31.3.2003) or Dyfed (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Pembrokeshire or Carmarthenshire (before 1.4.1974)
Powys Powys Powys or Clwyd (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Montgomeryshire or Radnorshire or Brecknockshire or Denbighshire (before 1.4.1974)
Rhondda Cynon Taff Rhondda Cynon Taf Mid Glamorgan (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Glamorgan or Brecknockshire (before 1.4.1974)
Swansea Sir Abertawe West Glamorgan (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Glamorgan (before 1.4.1974)
The Vale of Glamorgan Bro Morgannwg South Glamorgan or Mid Glamorgan (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Glamorgan (before 1.4.1974)
Torfaen Tor-Faen Gwent (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Monmouthshire (before 1.4.1974)
Wrexham Wrecsam Clwyd (1.4.1974 – 31.3.1996) or Denbighshire or Flintshire (before 1.4.1974)

12.3 Notes

  • From 1 April 1996 either the Welsh or the English version of Welsh county names are acceptable for new registrations.
  • Searches using either version of the names will reveal any relevant entries registered on or after 1 April 1996 no matter which version was used in the application for registration.

13. Appendix D: Land charges registers

There are 5 registers kept in the Land Charges Department which are listed below.

13.1 Register of land charges (section 2 of the Land Charges Act 1972)

There are 6 classes of land charges. (Note that there is no provision in the Land Charges Act 1972 for the registration of an interest that arises under a trust of land or settlement under any of these classes (see section 17(1) of the Land Charges Act 1972)).

Class A Land charge imposed by statute pursuant to an application, eg under the Drainage Act 1976
Class B Land charge imposed automatically by statute, eg Legal Aid Act 1974
Class C C(i) – Puisne mortgage – usually a second or subsequent charge which is not protected by a deposit of documents relating to the legal estate affected
  C(ii) – Limited owners charge – arises when a tenant for life discharges death duties or other liabilities affecting settled land
  C(iii) – General equitable charge – equitable charges not registrable elsewhere, eg an informal mortgage. It does not arise or affect an interest arising under a trust of land or a settlement
  C(iv) – Estate contract – includes a contract, an option to purchase, a right of pre-emption, a right to determine, surrender or renew a lease
Class D D(i) – Inland Revenue charge – death duties, capital transfer tax/inheritance tax
  D(ii) – Restrictive covenants – entered into after 1925 and not between lessor and lessee
  D(iii) – Equitable easements – easements created after 1925 provided they are not legal easements
Class E Annuity – created but not registered before 1926
Class F Matrimonial Homes Act 1967 and 1983 or Family Law Act 1996 (as amended by the Civil Partnership Act 2004) – protection of spouse’s or civil partner’s rights

13.2 Register of pending actions (PA) (section 5 of the Land Charges Act 1972)

There are 2 categories:

Applications or petitions in bankruptcy Registered as (PA)B. Registration is effected whether or not land is affected and whether or not such land is registered. (Immediately after registration with Land Charges, Land Registry is notified of the particulars of the debtor.)
Pending land actions Any action or proceeding pending in court relating to any interest in land. (Some pending land actions are registrable by statute, for example see an application under section 28(5) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.)

Note: For petitions in bankruptcy, the court uses Form 6.14 (see Schedule 4 of the Insolvency Rules 1986) to register a pending action (the bankruptcy petition) with Land Charges. For bankruptcy applications to the adjudicator, the Insolvency Service makes an electronic application to register a pending action (the bankruptcy application) with Land Charges (or initially, a new form 6.40 may be used).

13.3 Register of writs and orders (WO) (section 6 of the Land Charges Act 1972)

There are 2 categories:

Bankruptcy order Registered as WO(B) Registration is effected whether or not land is affected and whether or not such land is registered. (Immediately after registration with Land Charges, Land Registry is notified of the particulars of the bankrupt.)
Writ or order For the purpose of enforcing a judgment (but not a pre-judgment freezing order which cannot be for the purpose of enforcing a judgment (Stockler v Fourways QBD [1983] 3 All ER 501), eg charging order or an order appointing a receiver. (Some writs or orders are registrable by statute for example, see orders under sections 24(8) and 30(6) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.)

Note 1: For bankruptcy orders, the Official Receiver attached to the court uses form 6.26 (see Schedule 4 of the Insolvency Rules 1986) to register a bankruptcy order with Land Charges.

Note 2: ‘Writ’ means a writ of enforcement issued by a court.

Note that no writ or order affecting an interest under a trust of land may be registered in the register of writs or orders (section 6(1A) of the Land Charges Act 1972). So, for example, a charging order which affects an equitable interest under a trust of land may not be protected by a writ or order.

An entry in the register of writs or orders ceases to have effect at the end of a period of 5 years from the date on which it is made but the registration may be renewed and if renewed has effect for a period of 5 years from the date of renewal (section 8 of the Land Charges Act 1972).

13.4 Register of deeds of arrangement (DA) (section 7 of the Land Charges Act 1972)

In order to avoid bankruptcy proceedings someone in financial difficulties can assign all their property to a trustee for the benefit of their creditors. The assignment is usually known as a deed of arrangement. A voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986 (as amended) is incapable of being protected by registration as a deed of arrangement. However, depending on the debtor’s proposals or on the terms of the Court Order, registration may be possible as a general equitable charge or as an estate contract or as a writ or order affecting land.

An entry in the register of deeds of arrangement ceases to have effect at the end of a period of five years from the date on which it is made but the registration may be renewed and if renewed has effect for a period of five years from the date of renewal (section 8 of the Land Charges Act 1972).

As from 1 October 2015 it has not been possible to register new deeds of arrangement. Any registrations made prior to that date will subsist until they cease to have effect.

13.5 Register of annuities (Schedule 1 of the Land Charges Act 1972)

The annuities register was opened in 1855 and closed in 1925. See also Land Charges, Class E in Register of Land Charges.

14. Things to remember

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