Practice Guide 30 – Approval of mortgage documentation
Updated: April 2012
This edition of the guide replaces the April 2011 edition. The guide has been amended as a result of changes to our contact details.
Scope of this guide
This guide deals with the approval of standard forms of legal charge and deeds of variation/priority/ postponement for use by lending institutions. It applies only to deeds that will be registered or noted under the Land Registration Act 2002. This guide is aimed at lending institutions and you should interpret references to ‘you’ accordingly. Land Registry staff will also refer to it.
Throughout this guide, the word ‘charge’ is used to mean the document creating a legal charge on registered land which is to be registered as a legal charge under s.27, Land Registration Act 2002, and which is executed as a deed by the borrower (or all the borrowers, if there is more than one). For the purposes of this guide, the terms ‘charge’ and ‘mortgage deed’ are interchangeable.
Unless otherwise indicated, what is said below about charges applies also, with all necessary changes, to deeds of variation/priority/postponement.
The questions addressed are those that we expect to be most often asked by lenders and their representatives.
2 What are the advantages of applying for approval of our charges?
Each approved form of charge is given a reference that allows staff at Land Registry Offices to access the lender’s details from a computer database. This speeds up registration and reduces the incidence of clerical errors.
We give the lender a computer code that generates its name and address in the register with guaranteed accuracy. This cuts out typing errors.
Standard restrictions may be applied for in an approved charge. A standard restriction is a restriction in a form set out in Schedule 4, Land Registration Rules 2003. Form P in Schedule 4 is the relevant restriction where the consent of the proprietor of a charge is required. The normal requirement for an application in form RX1 is waived.
An application to register a restriction contained in an unapproved charge not in form CH1 will be ignored unless it is accompanied by an application in form RX1.
You may apply in an approved charge for notice of an obligation to make further advances to be entered in the register. Unapproved charges not in form CH1 must be accompanied by a form CH2.
3 How do I apply for approval?
You simply send two copies of the charge, with a completed application in form ACD, to:
Commercial Arrangements Section
1 Bedford Park
(DX 8888 Croydon 3)
Telephone: 0300 006 7416 and 0300 006 7571
Fax: 0300 006 7550
(referred to below as ‘Land Registry Head Office’).
You will need a separate form ACD for each charge.
We will give the charge a reference that will have to be printed in the charge itself, so please remember to apply for approval before the charge is printed.
Please remember also that form ACD contains important undertakings that must be complied with.
4 How long does it take to approve forms of charge?
We will approve forms of charge within 10 business days.
5 What if I want to amend a charge after it has been approved?
Generally, the amended document will have to be lodged at Land Registry Head Office for reapproval with a form ACD. But, if the amendments are very minor, we may waive this requirement.
Never assume that reapproval will be unnecessary, no matter how minor the amendments seem. Before you print the document, telephone Land Registry Head Office to find out whether or not a form ACD application will be needed.
6 What happens when the charge is approved?
Land Registry Head Office will give each approved form of charge a unique reference beginning with the letters ‘MD’. This reference allows staff at Land Registry offices to access details of the document on a computer database.
This is why Land Registry Head Office must be notified of any proposed changes to an approved charge. If it isn’t notified, the details on the database may be wrong and incorrect entries may be made in the register as a result.
After the charge has been approved, one copy will be returned to you with any amendments shown in red.
7 Would you ever refuse to approve a charge?
To qualify for approval, a charge must contain or provide for (as the case may be):
the names and addresses of the borrower(s)
the name and address of the lender, including its company registration number, if any
a description of the property being mortgaged, including its title number
a valid charging clause
a valid execution clause with provision for attestation.
We would not approve any charge that failed to satisfy one or more of these criteria. We would also not approve any charge that contained an application to register a restriction not in a standard form.
A deed of variation/priority/postponement must contain or provide for (as the case may be):
a date and the names and addresses of the parties
a description of the property, including its title number
identification of the charge or charges affected by the deed
a clause setting out the terms of the variation/alteration in priority/postponement
a clause permitting valid execution in accordance with the following paragraph.
A deed of variation must provide for execution by the borrower(s). A deed of priority or postponement must provide for execution by the proprietor of any charge of equal or inferior priority prejudicially affected by the alteration in priority or postponement.
8 Is there a prescribed form of charge?
At present, charges, unlike transfers, do not have a mandatory form. Lenders may use form CH1 (see Appendix A) if they wish.
9 Do I have to pay a fee?
There is no fee for approval of forms of charge.
For the assessment of fees for the registration of charges, refer to the current Land Registration Fee Order.
10 Would you ever withdraw approval from a form of charge?
Yes. If a lender failed to keep to its undertakings in panel 6 of form ACD, we might withdraw approval from its charges.
11 What is form ACD and where can I get it?
Form ACD is set out in Appendix B. You can get a small supply of the form, free of charge, from Land Registry Head Office.
Alternatively, you may download copies from our website at www.landregistry.gov.uk
12 Enquiries and comments
This guide contains only basic information. If you have a question that is not covered, please contact Land Registry Head Office before applying for approval.
If you have any comments or suggestions about our guides, please send them to:
Central Operations Group
1 Bedford Park
(DX 8888 Croydon 3)
13 Appendix A
Example of form CH1 – Legal charge of a registered estate
14 Appendix B
Example of form ACD – Application for approval of a standard form of charge deed and allocation of official Land Registry reference
Land Registry advisory policy
We offer advice to our customers through our publications and Customer Support information and through the day-to-day handling of applications.
We provide factual information including official copies of registers, title plans and documents, searches and details of our forms and fees.
We provide procedural advice to explain how the land registration system works and how to make applications correctly. This includes:
- advice in advance of an application, where this is requested
- where an application is defective, advice as to the nature of the problem and what options, if any, are available to put it right
- an approval service for estate layout plans and certain other land registration documents.
There are limits to the advice that we will provide. We will not provide legal advice.
This means that:
- we will not approve the evidence to be produced in support of a registration application before we receive the application
- apart from procedural advice, we will not advise on what action to take
- we will not recommend a professional adviser but can explain how to find one.
We provide advice only about real cases, not about theoretical circumstances. We will not express a view on questions where the law is complex or unclear except where the question arises on a live registration application.
In providing this factual information and procedural advice we will:
- be impartial
- recognise that others may be affected by what we say
- avoid any conflict of interest.
For customer enquiries and to request this publication in an alternative format please contact Customer Support at email@example.com or telephone 0844 892 1111, or 0844 892 1122 for a Welsh-speaking service, from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm. Calls cost 3p a minute on a BT standard tariff, in addition to the current set up/connection charge. Calls from other tariffs, service providers and mobile phones may cost more. We do not receive any revenue from these calls.
To obtain copies of this and all our other guides, free of charge:
- view/download guides in English and Welsh at www.landregistry.gov.uk
- contact Customer Support.
Information in this guide
The information in this publication is for the purpose of providing general guidance about Land Registry's procedures and policies. It is intended only as a guide and does not cover every situation that may arise. It also does not limit Land Registry's ability to use its discretion when appropriate to do so, within the land registration legislation.
Before you lodge your application for approval:
have you completed and signed form ACD?
have you enclosed two draft copies of each document you are seeking to have approved?
do the documents you have lodged for approval meet the criteria in section 7 Would you ever refuse to approve a charge?
have you allowed 10 working days for the approval to be completed before the documents need to be sent to the printers?
Before you send the documents to the printers:
have you entered the MD references as shown on the approved document?
have you made the other changes (if any) which we have prescribed?
After the documents are printed:
have you sent a copy of the printed document to Land Registry Head Office for filing?
Chief Land Registrar
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Not to be reproduced without permission from The Forms Unit, Land Registry (under the delegated authority from the Controller of HMSO), Trafalgar House, 1 Bedford Park, Croydon CR0 2AQ