Practice Guide 7 – Entry of price paid or value stated in the register
Updated: April 2013
This edition of the guide replaces the October 2012 edition. Sections 4 and 5 have been updated to reflect our revised practice from 1 May 2013 on when we will ask for price paid or value stated information. We have done this to increase the transparency of the information we hold on land and property values in England and Wales.
If you have further questions, please see our customer questions and answers document (PDF).
Scope of this guide
This guide deals with questions associated with price paid or value information in the register. It is aimed principally at conveyancers although members of the public may find it of interest.
This guide contains the answers to commonly asked questions about our procedures to enter price paid or value information in the register. It also goes on to explain how the decision was taken to restore this information to the register.
2 When did these procedures come into effect?
The procedures, referred to in r.8(2), Land Registration Rules 2003, apply to any application received at a Land Registry office after 1 April 2000 to enter a new proprietor of land, whether or not the existing proprietor also remains in the register. These procedures do not apply in certain cases – for instance, when a new trustee is appointed in respect of trust property or when someone like an executor stands in the shoes of the existing owner.
3 When will price paid be entered?
When it is clear, that a sum of money (other than rent under a lease) has been paid, we will enter a note of that sum in the register. An amended entry will be made where the price includes other property as well as money.
4 Will Land Registry always enter the price?
We will enter the price paid or value stated where the applicant can be reasonably expected to have this information. We would expect the information to be readily available to the applicant where, for example:
- stamp duty land tax has been paid
- the price is not stated in the transfer/lease but is contained in a separate document
- a probate valuation has been obtained.
If we receive an application without the price paid or value stated information where we would expect this to be available we will ask the applicant to provide this. We may cancel the application if we consider that the information is readily available and this is not supplied.
We will not requisition for a price paid, where it is referred to in a document not lodged with us, if the transfer or lease is dated before 1 May 2013, or is in a form expressly required in an agreement entered into before 1 May 2013.
We will enter the price paid even if it is given in a currency other than pounds sterling, but we do not convert the price.
5 What if there is no payment made or the price cannot be calculated?
In cases where no payment is made or the price cannot be calculated we will make a value stated entry. If the actual value is not known, an entry may be made on the basis of the information given to Land Registry for assessing the fees.
The entry may, therefore, contain reference to a value band in which the value of the property falls, such as:
“The value as at [date of application] was stated to be between £xxx and £yyy.”
Or a minimum or maximum value from the bottom or top bands, such as:
“The value as at [date of application] was stated to be over £xxx.”
We will, however, omit the entry if it would be misleading, for example, the value stated represents only a half share of the value of the property.
5.1 Discounts and incentives
Often developers offer discounts and incentives to prospective buyers. In this case we enter the net (lower) price paid in the register. If we are unable to identify the net price, we will request this. The reason for this is that entry of the pre-discount price may be misleading.
Certain incentives, such as legal and moving costs, are not treated as a discount for price paid purposes.
6 Can I ask you not to enter the price paid in the register?
No. Land Registry is under a statutory obligation to enter price paid whenever practicable. The terms of a confidentiality clause will not override the obligation on the registrar to enter price paid in the register. The registrar will not enter a price paid if the registrar considers it misleading, such as when the value stated represents only a half share of the value of the property. However, the information is not misleading just because it is historic as a date is also recorded as part of the register entry. Neither will the entry be misleading merely because, for example, renovation work has enhanced the value of the property since the sale.
7 What form will the entry take when the exact price or value is known?
The following forms of entry will appear in proprietorship registers.
“The price stated to have been paid on [date of disposition] was £xxx.”
“The price, other than rents, stated to have been paid on the grant of the lease was £xxx.”
“The value stated as at [date of application] was £xxx.”
8 What form will the entry take if you assess the value from the level of fees paid?
The following forms of entry will appear in proprietorship registers.
“The value as at [date of application] was stated to be under/over £xxx.”
“The value as at [date of application] was stated to be between £xxx and £yyy”.
9 How long does the information remain in the register?
The information will stay in the register until there is a further change of ownership that results in a new price or value entry being made.
10 How reliable is this information?
The entry is based on the information provided to us. It may not represent the full market value of the property. The entry makes it clear that the figure represented is based on what we have been told. We will not verify it. In some cases, it may not represent the complete picture. For instance, when the parties are associated with each other there could be many reasons why the price paid is not the full value of the property or when a transfer or lease mentions a discount or cashback we will enter the lowest or net value.
11 What does the absence of an entry mean?
Absence of a price paid entry does not necessarily mean that there has been a gift of the property. The price paid information may itself be misleading (for some reason associated with the nature of the transaction concerned), or the price may not have been readily ascertainable. If no entry of price paid or value stated appears, Land Registry may have received the application to register the change of ownership before 1 April 2000, or some aspect of the transaction would make the entry of value stated misleading.
12 Will Land Registry publish this information?
Land Registry already publishes aggregated residential property price information. We also provide aggregated information down to postal sector level and since February 2012 we have published monthly data on the price paid for individual residential property sales. We have no plans to publish aggregated information relating to commercial properties. You can obtain copies of registers or individual properties by applying for an official copy of the relevant register of title.
13 Were Land Registry customers consulted about this change of procedure?
The proposal to restore price paid information to the register was a matter on which Land Registry consulted widely in October 1997. The consultation paper was issued direct to representative bodies, such as the Law Society and the Bar Council, and made available on our website and in response to press publicity. A report was made to the Lord Chancellor in February 1998 based on the responses. The majority of responses either strongly opposed or strongly supported the proposal. Having considered the responses, the Lord Chancellor decided to adopt the proposal.
14 Is this an invasion of privacy?
Some people may take this view and the issue of privacy was given very careful consideration. However, in many countries the price paid for a particular property is already a matter of public record, most notably Scotland since 1617, and this does not appear to have caused any problems. The price paid is already public in some circumstances via other sources, such as where the property is sold at auction. The Government considers that the benefits attached to the availability of this information outweigh the privacy arguments. The Lord Chancellor has been advised that the rule change is ECHR (European Commission for Human Rights) compliant.
15 How do I obtain price paid information relating to a particular property?
Order an official copy of the register using form OC1, which you can obtain from The Stationery Office or any law stationer. Alternatively, you can download the form from our website at www.landregistry.gov.uk or obtain it from Customer Support (see Contact details). Send the form OC1, together with the appropriate fee under the current Land Registration Fee Order, to the Land Registry office dealing with the area in which the property is situated. You can find this out from our website or by telephoning Customer Support.
Portal customers can order official copies online.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Chief Land Registrar
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