Compulsory Registration of Property in Ireland

There is now a concerted effort by the state to move from the older and limited system of  Unregistered Property to Registered Property. The following is a brief summary of the current landscape:-

Registration of title in Ireland

There are two systems for the registration of title in Ireland:

1. The registration of title in the Registry of Deeds – this property is called Unregistered Property;

2. The registration of title in the Land Registry – this property is called Registered Property.

These two systems are managed by the same department called the Property Registration Authority (the “PRA”).


Unregistered Property – Registry of Deeds

The primary function of the Registry of Deeds is to provide a system of recording the existence of deeds and to give priority to deeds that are recorded in order of time.  The Registry of Deeds does not require a map nor guarantee the effectiveness of a Deed nor does it interpret a Deed, but only records the existence of the Deed.


Registered Property – Land Registry

The primary function of the Land Registry is to put all relevant particulars pertaining to a property on a document known as a Folio which forms part of the register of the Land Registry. The title/information shown on the Folios (i.e. ownership and rights of the property) is guaranteed by the State.  This means the state will indemnify any person who suffers a loss through a mistake made by the Land Registry on the folio. The Folio has a digital map attached to it. However, it must be noted that the Land Registry strongly advise that their mapping is not definitive.


Compulsory Registration

This means that on the sale of ALL “Unregistered Property” (except leases for under 21 years) you must apply to have the property converted to “Registered Property”. The  effect of this for sellers/owners of “Unregistered Property” is:

• You will need a specific standard of digital map of the property;

• You will, more than likely, have to provide an undertaking to the buyer to provide all necessary information which the buyer will need to convert the property to “Registered Property” which would be at your own expenses;

• You may be requested to have the property converted to “Registered Property” by the buyer before they entertain or agree to purchase the property;

This is general information and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate. For advice on any matters relating to Property or Conveyancing please contact: 

Grattan Butler

Tel: +353(0)749731174  l  Email: [email protected]

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