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Compulsory First Registration

Compulsory First Registration (CFR) is a legal process which transfers property from the Registry of Deeds (ROD) system – which is non map based – to the Land Registry which is a map based system of title and which attracts a government guarantee of title.

All sales for value of land in Northern Ireland must now have title registered in Land Registry so if a property currently is within the ROD – unregistered system – on completion of the sale an application is made to Land Registry for compulsory first registration.  The solicitor for the purchaser makes the application and certifies the title. On completion of the registration the land is allocated a folio number. The title to the property is contained on the Register held in Land Registry and the registered owner holds a copy of same in the form of a Land Certificate of that folio and a copy of the Land Registry map – this is in sharp contrast to unregistered title which can consist of numerous documents of title - and there may be no map of the property.

The benefit of registration for the citizen is the simplicity of the title and the fact that government guarantees the title.

For Land Registry the benefit is that more titles are contained on the Public Register. Details of property ownership are available to all as the Register is open to examination by the public on payment of a search fee.

As well as CFR at the point of sale it is possible to apply at any time for Voluntary Registration of Title. This enables a land owner to make application to the Land Registry at any time to have title transferred from the unregistered ROD system to the Land Register.

The Land Registry would encourage all land owners and particularly public bodies to seek to register their property voluntarily to ensure that as much information as possible on publicly held lands is available on the Land Register.

To find more information, please use the following link to the CFR guidance information document: