Land Registry Services

  1. Land Registration in Ireland
  2. Compulsory Registration
  3. Land Registry Services
  4. Glossary of Terms

1.  Land Registration in Ireland

By international comparison, Ireland has a very extensive and well developed system of land registration.  Since the foundation of the Land Registry in 1892, there has been a gradual, ongoing and continuous programme of movement away from the older and limited system of recording deeds (in the Registry of Deeds), to the more modern, flexible and comprehensive ‘title registration’ system provided through the Land Registry.

93% of the total land mass of the State and almost 90% of the legal titles in Ireland are now registered in the Land Registry. As the map below illustrates, almost all legal titles in several counties are now registered.

land_registration_map_new

Much of the progress in recent years has been facilitated by the successful roll-out of a major programme of state of the art Information Technology, the most notable of which have been:

  • Integrated Title Registration Information System – ITRIS – (1999-2002)
  • Digital Mapping Project (2005-2010) and
  • Conversion of the entire register and associated indices from paper into a fully digitised format (2006-2009)

As a result of these projects there are now 2.14 million titles, representing almost 2.8 million individual parcels of land, registered in the Irish Land Registry and an extensive programme is underway to advance the registration of the remaining titles. In fact, compulsory registration now applies to all counties.

2. Compulsory Registration

Registration in the Land Registry is compulsory in the following cases:

  1. Land bought under the Land Purchase Acts
  2. Land acquired after 1st January 1967 by a statutory authority
  3. Certain transactions* in relation to property located in the counties and cities listed in the table below: 
Compulsory Registration
Counties Affected Effective date
Carlow Meath and Laois 1st January 1970
Longford Westmeath and Roscommon 1st April 2006
Clare, Kilkenny, Louth, Sligo, Wexford and Wicklow 1st October 2008
Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Monaghan, North Tipperary, Offaly, South Tipperary and Waterford 1st January 2010
Cork and Dublin 1st June 2011
Cities affected Effective date
Galway, Limerick and Waterford [as defined in Section 10 of the Local Government Act 2001] 1st January 2010
Cork and Dublin 1st June 2011

*in the case of freehold land – conveyance on sale

*in the case of leasehold land – grant or assignment on sale

3. Land Registry Services

1. The  Register

The Irish Land Register is one of the most advanced land registers in Europe. The Register is fully computerised and all registered land parcels are digitised. The Register consists of textual and spatial information (folios and maps). The registered land in each county is divided into folios, one for each individual ownership or title. Each folio is numbered sequentially within the county division.

Folios

Click to see a Sample Folio

The Register is conclusive evidence of title to property and any right, privilege, appurtenance or burden appearing thereon. The title shown on the folio is guaranteed by the State which is bound to indemnify any person who suffers loss through a mistake made by the Land Registry.

Maps (Title Plans)

Click to see a Sample Title Plan

The Land Registry operates a non-conclusive boundary system which means that the map does not indicate whether a boundary includes a hedge or wall or ditch etc. However, the physical features along which the boundaries run must be accurately identified.

The core business of the Land Registry involves examining applications for registration. We also supply evidence of title and a range of associated services. The fees for Land Registry services are set out in the “Land Registration (Fees) Order, 2012 (S.I. No. 380 of 2012)”

2. Applications for registration

Applications are prepared on behalf of the customer by qualified legal practitioners and submitted to the PRA for registration.

In making decisions on applications, staff apply a wide range of legislation, take account of court decisions and adhere to principles of natural and constitutional justice. The legal impact of the documents and related maps lodged are then recorded on the folios and title plans of the Register.

The type of application lodged ranges from applications for first registration, transfers of part of a folio, charges (mortgages), burdens (e.g. right of way) etc.

The Land Registry Practice Directions and Legal Office Notices on this site provide guidance on the principles and procedures followed in making decisions on applications. However, this does not constitute legal advice and it is always recommended that you consult a qualified legal practitioner. Note that the Land Registry/Property Registration Authority is not an advisory body and cannot give advice on individual cases.

3. Applications for the purchase of the freehold under the Ground Rents Purchase Scheme

This is a scheme under which owners of leasehold property can purchase their ground rent and enlarge their interest into a freehold.  

The Ground Rents Purchase Scheme explanatory leaflet, Application Forms and other relevant information are published on this site under Ground Rent Services.

4. Certified Copy Folio/Title Plan

The folios and maps of the Register constitute a public record and any person may apply to inspect or obtain a copy folio/title plan, on payment of the appropriate fee.

  • If you know the relevant folio number you can apply for a copy on landdirect.ie or by downloading and completing the Application Form for Copy Folio (fee €40) or Application Form for Copy Folio/Title Plan showing appurtenant rights of way and/or other “special features”, if any, relating to the lands (fee €40) and sending the completed form together with a cheque/postal order for the appropriate fee to:
    Customer Service Unit
    Property Registration Authority
    Chancery Street
    Dublin 7
  • If you don’t know the relevant folio number you can apply for a mapping search or names index search to be carried out.

5. Certified Copy Instruments

When an application for registration (a “Dealing”) is completed, the legal effect of the documents lodged is registered on the folio. A purchaser for value can rely on the folio as evidence of title without having to read the title deeds. The title documents are subsequently filed in the Land Registry in a file known as an “Instrument”.

  • There are some circumstances in which an inspection of an Instrument may be applied for. However, not everyone is entitled to inspect an Instrument. The Instrument can only be inspected by the registered owner of the property, his/her personal representative and any person authorised by such persons, by an order of the court or under Rule 159 of the Land Registration Rules 2012.
  • Before completing an Application Form for Copy Instrument* under Rule 159 please read the guidelines attached to the form .You must specify why you consider yourself to be entitled to inspect and/or obtain a copy of the Instrument (or part of an Instrument).
  • Any person who is entitled to inspect an Instrument may obtain a copy of the Instrument, on payment of the appropriate fee.
  • The completed application form along with appropriate identification and a cheque/postal order for the relevant fee (€40 per Instrument) should be lodged to:
    Customer Service Unit
    Property Registration Authority
    Chancery Street
    Dublin 7

* See Legal Office Notice 5/2010 – Personal Applications for Copy Instruments must be accompanied by a Personal Applicant’s Identification Form.

Please note: Instruments are stored off-site and will not be available on the day of request.

6. Search facilities

Online search

Many of our services are available through our online service – landdirect.ie. To avail of the full range of services you must open a Business Account with a minimum pre-payment of €125 made payable to the Property Registration Authority.

If you are not a Business Account Holder, you can search the Land Registry map online, free of charge. You may also view folios and order certified copy folios with maps on payment of the prescribed fee.

You may still avail of our services by post or by calling to one of our public offices between 10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays). The locations of our offices are published on this site under Contact Us.

Map search

Carrying out a mapping search will reveal if the property is registered in the Land Registry and will identify the relevant folio number.

To apply for an official mapping search (fee €40):

  • Outline the relevant plot in red on an Ordnance Survey Ireland map and send with your completed application in Form 89 with a cheque/postal order for the relevant fee to;
    Customer Service Unit
    Property Registration Authority
    Chancery Street
    Dublin 7

or

  • Attend at our public office and point out the relevant plot on the maps provided. Once the folio number has been identified you may then apply for a certified Copy Folio or Copy Folio/Title Plan.

Search by registered owner

To apply for a name search (fee €5):

  • You must know the name and address of the current registered owner. (Otherwise you must apply for a mapping search as above.)
  • Send your completed application in Form 88 together with a cheque/postal order for the relevant fee to:
    Customer Service Unit
    Property Registration Authority
    Chancery Street
    Dublin 7

If the result of a search indicates that the property is not registered in the Land Registry it may have been dealt with in the Registry of Deeds. Please see the Registry of Deeds section on this site for information on the records maintained there and how to search them.

4. Glossary of Terms

  • Burden – An entry in respect of a right or liability to which the property is subject e.g. a right of way across the property or an annuity or charge payable out of the land. On new folios, i.e. those in 3 parts, they are entered on Part III.
  • Certified Copy Folio – A copy of the land registry folio, certified by the PRA, which may be accepted as evidence of registration.
  • Certified Copy Folio & Title Plan – A copy of the land registry folio, together with the land registry map of the property contained in that folio, certified by the PRA. This certified copy may be accepted as evidence of registration.
  • Charge – A burden which renders the land liable as security for payment of a sum of money.
  • Dealing – An application for registration in the Land Registry is known as a land registry dealing. Each dealing has a unique reference number.
  • Discharge – A document used to apply for removal of a charge or burden from a folio.
  • First Registration – The process by which property is first registered with the Land Registry, the title having been approved by the PRA. Prior to first registration the land is deemed to be “Unregistered Title” or has “Registry of Deeds Title”.
  • Folio – Property registered in the Land Registry is registered in a document called a Land Registry Folio. Each folio has its own distinct number with the details of the registered property. Some older folios and all new folios are in 3 parts, comprising of Part I – Description of the Property, Part II – Ownership, Part III – Burdens.
  • Form 17 – A covering form lodged with each application that sets out the registration sought, the documents lodged, the Solicitor’s name and address and fees.
  • Freehold – When the tenure (title) of property has the capacity to last forever as distinct from leasehold which is for a fixed term of years. On new folios the letter F after the number designates freehold.
  • Instrument – When an application for registration is completed, the registration documents are bound for filing in Land Registry Instruments. Each instrument bears the application number given when the application was first lodged.
  • Joint Tenants – Owners who are registered at the same entry are joint tenants – when joint owner dies, the property passes to the other joint tenant(s) and does not form part of the deceased joint owner’s estate.
  • Land Certificate – A Land Certificate is a photostat copy of the folio accompanied by a certificate that the ownership of the lands is as within stated. Note: No longer issued or re-issued since 1/1/2007and not required for registration purposes.
  • Lease – A grant by a lessor to a lessee of possession of property for a fixed period of time subject to payment of a rent. Currently only leases for more than 21 years can be registered in the Land Registry.
  • Leasehold – The interest created by a lease. Leasehold folios have an L after the folio number. Currently only leases for more than 21 years can be registered
  • Ownership – Shown on Part II of the folio. It gives the name and address of the owner(s) and the date of registration as owner. The address must be within the state for the service of any notices on the owner.
  • Plan Number – Each registered property will have one or more plan number which enables the identification of the property on the Land Registry map. The plan number appears as part of the property description at Part I of the folio and also appears on the plot(s) or plan(s) shown on the map for that folio.
  • Priority – The order in which dealings are registered or burdens entered on a folio. For registered land, normally priority is governed by date of lodgement.
  • Release – A document used to apply for removal of a charge or burden from a folio.
  • Tenant in Common – A person who owns property with others where the owners have undivided possession but where there is no right of survivorship i.e. upon the death of a tenant in common their share in the property forms part of their estate and does not pass automatically to the other tenants in common. Each tenant in common is registered with a separate entry and the entry states the share held by that tenant in common.
  • Transfer – The deed by which registered property is passed from one person to another. A deed of transfer must conform to the prescribed forms set out in the Land Registration Rules 2012.
  • Transmission – The means by which a property normally passes from a deceased registered owner (via personal representative) to a person entitled to be registered – using prescribed Land Registration Rules Forms.
  • Vesting Certificate – When a tenant or lessee buys out the ground rent of their property under the purchase scheme operated by the Land Registry, a vesting certificate issues from the Ground Rents section of the PRA. This certificate is proof that the person named in the certificate has acquired all superior interests and now holds the freehold.