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Property deeds in Ireland

Information

There are two separate systems for recording transactions to property in Ireland:

  1. The registration of title system (Land Registry) which provides a state guaranteed title to property and
  2. The registration of deeds system (Registry of Deeds) which records the priority of the registered deeds and conveyances.

A title is the ownership of a property and a deed is a document in writing which affects property.

Both systems are mutually exclusive. Your solicitor will know which of the two systems is relevant to your case. Both systems are under the control and management of the Property Registration Authority. The Property Registration Authority (PRA) is an independent statutory body set up under the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006 (pdf).

If you do not agree with a decision by the Authority may appeal it to the court and the court may annul or confirm the decision with or without any changes made to it.

The land Registry: Registration of Title

When title or ownership is registered in the Land Registry all relevant details concerning the property and its ownership are entered on documents known as Folios. These form the registers maintained in the Land Registry.

Property that is registered at the Land Registry is known as registered land as every transaction on a property is registered on a folio. The folio is guaranteed by the State to be a confirmed record of the title to the property to which it refers.

A folio is a document which describes:

  • the property registered and refers to a plan on the Registry maps
  • the name and address of the registered owner(s)
  • any burdens, for example, rights of way or charges (mortgages) affecting the property.

Using the folio you can find out who has the title or ownership of a property without having to read the original deeds.

The Land Registry also maintains maps for the plans of property described in the registers. The Land Registry map (also called a filed plan) identifies property, not boundaries. The Register is therefore not conclusive as to boundaries. Any dispute as to boundaries must be resolved by the relevant parties - if they cannot reach agreement it is a matter for the courts to resolve.

How to obtain a certified copy of a folio (filed plan)

When you know the folio number

If you know the relevant folio number can apply for a certified copy of the folio and map. The fee for a certified copy folio is €6. Click here to download an application form for certified copy folio (MS Word). A certified copy folio with filed plan (map) attached is € 25. Click here to download an application form for a certified copy folio with filed plan (MS Word).

The completed application forms should be forwarded to the Keeper of Records, at the relevant office. (See 'Where to apply' below)

When you don’t know the folio number but you know the name of the registered owner

You can find the relevant folio number by applying in writing to the Keeper of Records at the relevant office for a names index search (quoting the name and address of the registered owner). (See 'Where to apply' below).

When you don’t know the relevant folio number or the name of the registered owner

In this case you can obtain the relevant folio number by applying for a map search (you must be able to identify and outline the property on a map). You should send the map with the plot outlined to the relevant office with your request or you can attend the public counter at the relevant office. (See 'Where to apply' below).

A fee of € 2.50 is payable in for a names index search or €6 for a mapping search. Once you have obtained the relevant folio number in this way you can apply for a certified copy using the application forms (see forms in When you know the folio number above ).

If the property is not registered in the Land Registry it may have been dealt with by the Registry of Deeds (see below).

Registration of Deeds system

The Registry of Deeds was established in 1708 for the purpose of registering and filing Memorials (or summaries) of deeds or conveyances of land affecting unregistered land.

When a deed is lodged in the Registry of Deeds it is not filed there permanently- it is returned to the party who lodged it for registration. Instead a Memorial or summary of the deed is filed. The Memorial gives the date, the names and descriptions of all parties and all witnesses to the deed and a description of the property affected by the deed. Deeds which are recorded in the Registry of Deeds have a legal priority over unrecorded deeds and other deeds recorded later in time.

As the memorial is on public record at the Registry of Deeds, anyone can inspect the document and see who owns the property. The new signed deed becomes the latest deed showing the ownership of the property, adding to a chain of deeds that go back to when the property was first registered.

Any person may inspect the memorials held in the Registry of Deeds. A purchaser of unregistered land must read the actual deeds to examine the title to the property. Click here for further details of Registry of Deeds Services.

Lost Deeds

Because a memorial summarising the change of ownership or mortgage is kept by the Registry of Deeds, you can obtain a copy of the memorial to replace a lost or misplaced deed. This is because the memorial is secondary evidence of the contents of the deed. A memorial does not have the same legal effect as a deed but provides secondary evidence of the contents of the deed.

Each memorial has a record number and you can find this by doing a search on your name at the Registry of Deeds. A certified copy can be obtained for €12 and a plain copy can be obtained at 50c per page.

Where to apply

Registry of Deeds

Henrietta Street
Dublin 1
Ireland

Tel:+353 (0)1 670 7500
Locall:1890 333 001
Homepage: http://www.landregistry.ie

Property Registration Authority

Chancery Street
Dublin 7
Ireland

Tel:(01) 670 7500
Locall:1890 333 001
Homepage: http://www.landregistry.ie
Email: webmaster@prai.ie


Page updated: 20 July 2010

Language

Gaeilge

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Contact Us

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.