The difference between Registered and Unregistered Title

There are two separate systems used to record property transactions in Ireland. The first of these is the Registration of Deeds system which records the existence of deeds affecting property. If your property has been registered in the Registry of Deeds then it is known as unregistered Title.

The second is the Registration of Title system which records the Title itself and provides you with State guaranteed Title to your property. If your property has been registered in the Land Registry then it is known as registered Title.

Approximately 93% of Land in Ireland has now been registered with the Land Registry therefore the vast majority of property in Ireland is now Registered Title. Furthermore, Section 24 of the Registration of Title Act 1964 has now been amended to make it compulsory to apply for the registration of unregistered Title in the Land Registry where the property in question is the subject of a transaction for value. The purpose of this is to ensure that all property in Ireland will eventually become registered Title and there will be no need for the old system of the Registry of Deeds.

When Title is accepted by the Land Registry for registration the original Title Deeds submitted to them as evidence of your ownership of the property are retained and a Folio is produced. A Folio is conclusive evidence of ownership of a property and it is guaranteed by the State to be a true record of the Title to the property. Therefore, the State is bound to indemnify any person who suffers a loss through a mistake made by the Land Registry.

The Folio records the details of your property including the name and address of the registered owners, the type of ownership  (Absolute Title, Good Leasehold Title, Possessory Title) as well as any burdens affecting the property for example any mortgages, or other charges registered against it.  A filed plan (map) of the property is generally attached to the Folio. Once a Folio has been issued for a property, every subsequent transaction is then recorded and registered on that Folio.

When a Deed is registered in the Registry of Deeds it is not retained there permanently, it is merely the existence of the Deed that is recorded and the original document is returned to the lodging party. By registering a deed in the Registry of Deeds you guarantee that deed legal priority over any deeds that have not been registered previously or anything that is subsequently registered.

When dealing with unregistered Title your Solicitor will receive a bundle of old title documents, and must trace the Title to ensure that you, the client will have good Title to the property in question when you purchase it. The advantage of the Registration of Title system is that your Solicitor does not have to trace back through prior Title to ensure that the Vendor’s Title is sound; this is because the Folio will provide conclusive evidence of the Vendors ownership of the property.

If you have any queries or would like any more information, please do not hesitate to contact me on (01) 6797930 or email info[at] and I will be happy to assist you.

Nessa Ryan

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