Systems of Land Registration in Ireland
1.1 Types of Land Registration in Ireland
There are two types of Land Registration in Ireland, viz.,
- Registration of Deeds, introduced in 1707, by the Registration of Deeds Act, and
- Registration of Title, introduced in 1891, by the Local Registration of Title Act.
Both of these are under the management and control of the Property Registration Authority (“PRAI”) as a result of the Registration of Deeds and Titles Act 2006.
Other systems exist which record various types of information about land, including:
· the Private Residential Tenancy Register wherein landlords of residential tenancies are required to register,
· records of land valuations and occupiers, held by the Valuation Office, and
· Planning Registers held by local authorities.
These are sometimes of relevance to proof of ownership of land, but we reserve the term Land Registration to the two systems controlled by the PRAI, which the law requires owners to avail of in order to protect and prove their title.
The powers that be are planning to amalgamate the Property Registration Authority, the Valuation Office and the Ordnance Survey into one body.
Registration of Deeds is carried out in the Registry of Deeds, (Henrietta Street, Dublin), whileRegistration of Title is carried out in the Land Registry (formerly centralised in the Four Courts Complex, at Chancery Street, Dublin, but now located at additional addresses in Dublin and in Waterford and Roscommon). The word Title is here synonymous with Ownership, in other words “Registration of Title” means “Registration of Ownership of Land.”
1.1 Difference between Registration of Deeds and Registration of Title
The crucial difference between the two systems is the amount of information recorded when a transaction is submitted for registration.
- The older system, Registration of Deeds, was established to help eliminate land frauds, and records only the date of the deed, the nature of the deed, and its parties.
- On registration of a transaction in the Land Registry, on the other hand, the owner of the plot of land in question is recorded.
- The Registry of Deeds passes no comment on the effect of the deed registered, which is left to the user to determine for himself, whereas the Land Registry interprets the deed, registers its effect in relation to the ownership of the land, and guarantees the truth of this information to the extent stated (i.e, Title Absolute or Qualified or Possessory).
 “Absolute Title” means that the title is guaranteed, but not the precise boundaries of the Parcel. “Qualified Title” means the title is guaranteed except to the extent of the exclusions stated. “Possessory Title” means that the title is not guaranteed at all.