Practice Guide 73 – Statements of truth
Updated: October 2011
This edition of the guide replaces the January 2011 edition. Amendments have been made as a result of the Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2011, which change the definition of ‘conveyancer’ to make it consistent with the Legal Services Act 2007.
Scope of this guide
This guide gives information about the use of statements of truth in support of applications to Land Registry. It does not purport to give guidance on the use of statements of truth for any other purpose.
It is aimed at members of the public, companies, local authorities, other corporate bodies and conveyancers, and you should interpret references to ‘you’ accordingly. Land Registry staff will also refer to it.
1 Abbreviations and terms used
In this guide:
'conveyancer' means an authorised person within the meaning of s.18, Legal Services Act 2007 who is entitled to provide the conveyancing services referred to in paragraphs 5(1)(a) and (b) of Schedule 2 to that Act, or a person carrying out those activities in the course of their duties as a public officer. It also includes an individual or body who employs or has among their managers such an authorised person who will undertake or supervise those conveyancing activities (r.217A, LRR 2003)
‘LRR 2003’ means the Land Registration Rules 2003
‘prescription’ is the acquisition of a right of way or other easement by virtue of long use or enjoyment of a particular kind
‘statutory declaration’ means a declaration in the form prescribed by the Statutory Declarations Act 1835, made before a person authorised to administer oaths. For the purposes of LRR 2003, the definition includes an affidavit (a sworn statement in writing).
A statement of truth is a method of providing evidence in support of an application you send to Land Registry. The need to provide evidence may arise in a variety of situations, for example:
when you apply to be registered as proprietor of land on the basis of adverse possession, or if for some other reason there are no documents proving your title, or such documents have been lost
when you apply to register a right acquired by prescription
when you apply for an entry in the register to protect an undocumented interest in land, or
when you apply to cancel a restriction protecting a trust in land that has come to an end.
Land Registry practice guides explain the evidence you should provide in such circumstances.
Before November 2008, the normal method of providing such evidence was by statutory declaration. In November 2008, Land Registry adopted statements of truth as an alternative form of evidence, following the precedent set by the civil courts.
A statement of truth may also be prepared as a freestanding document. If so, it must meet the requirements summarised in section 4 – Requirements for a statement of truth.
Except where the prescribed application form incorporates a statement of truth, you may use a statutory declaration for supporting evidence if you prefer.
3 Statement of truth forms
The following forms provide a framework to supply the information we require in the most common cases. Using these forms does not guarantee the accompanying application will be successful, but they will help you be sure you have considered all relevant aspects. If you prefer to do so, you may prepare your own form of statement of truth or swear a statutory declaration in these cases.
Form ST1 – Statement of truth in support of an application for registration of land based upon adverse possession.
Form ST2 – Statement of truth in support of an application for registration of a rentcharge based upon adverse possession.
Form ST3 – Statement of truth in support of an application for registration of land based on lost or destroyed title deeds.
Form ST4 – Statement of truth in support of an application for registration and/or noting of a prescriptive easement.
4 Requirements for a statement of truth
For land registration purposes, a statement of truth is defined in r.215A, LRR 2003, set out in full in section 9 Appendix - rule 215A, LRR 2003.
It is made in writing.
It must be signed by the person who makes it (but see section 5 Statement made by an individual who is unable to read or sign).
It need not be sworn or witnessed.
It must contain a declaration of truth in the following form: ‘I believe that the facts and matters contained in this statement are true’.
If a conveyancer makes the statement of truth or signs it on someone’s behalf, the conveyancer must sign in their own name and state their capacity.
5 Statement of truth made by a person who is unable to read or sign
If a statement of truth is made by a person who is unable to read, it must be signed in the presence of a conveyancer and contain a certificate made and signed by the conveyancer in the form set out in r.215A(4)(b), LRR 2003.
If a statement of truth is made by a person who is unable to sign it, it must state the person’s name, be signed by a conveyancer at their direction, and contain a certificate made and signed by the conveyancer in the form set out in r.215A(5)(c), LRR 2003.
6 Date the statement of truth is made
A statement of truth by an applicant in support of an application based on adverse possession, where the application is being made under Schedule 6 to the LRR 2003, must be made not more than one month before the application is taken to have been made: r.188(1)(a), LRR 2003.
Other statements of truth should also be made shortly before the date of the application they support. Otherwise Land Registry may requisition under r.17, LRR 2003 for more up-to-date evidence before proceeding with the application.
7 Fraud warning
The Land Registry forms that incorporate a statement of truth include the following warning of the consequences of fraud. The warning also applies to a freestanding statement of truth and to a statutory declaration.
“If you dishonestly enter information or make a statement that you know is, or might be, untrue or misleading, and intend by doing so to make a gain for yourself or another person, or to cause loss or the risk of loss to another person, you may commit the offence of fraud under section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006, the maximum penalty for which is 10 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine, or both.”
8 Enquiries and comments
If you have a particular concern that is not covered by this guide, please contact Land Registry – see Contact details. If the problem is particularly complex, it may be better if you make your enquiry in writing at the Land Registry office that will process your application.
If you have any comments or suggestions about our guides, please send them to:
Central Operations Group
1 Bedford Park
(DX 8888 Croydon 3)
9 Appendix – rule 215A, LRR 2003
215A.—(1) In these rules, a statement of truth means a statement which—
(a) is made by an individual in writing,
(b) contains a declaration of truth in the following form—
‘I believe that the facts and matters contained in this statement are true’, and
(c) is signed in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (6).
(2) Subject to paragraph (5), a statement of truth must be signed by the individual making the statement.
(3) The full name of the individual who signs a statement of truth must be printed clearly beneath his signature.
(4) Where a statement of truth is to be signed by an individual who is unable to read, it must—
(a) be signed in the presence of a conveyancer, and
(b) contain a certificate made and signed by that conveyancer in the following form—
‘I [name and address of conveyancer] certify that I have read over the contents of this statement of truth and explained the nature and effect of any documents referred to in it and the consequences of making a false declaration to the person making this statement who signed it or made [his] or [her] mark in my presence having first (a) appeared to me to understand the statement (b) approved its content as accurate and (c) appeared to me to understand the declaration of truth and the consequences of making a false declaration.’
(5) Where a statement of truth is to be made by an individual who is unable to sign it, it must—
(a) state that individual’s full name,
(b) be signed by a conveyancer at the direction and on behalf of that individual, and
(c) contain a certificate made and signed by that conveyancer in the following form—
‘I [name and address of conveyancer] certify that [the person making this statement of truth has read it in my presence, approved its content as accurate and directed me to sign it on [his] or [her] behalf] or [I have read over the contents of this statement of truth and explained the nature and effect of any documents referred to in it and the consequences of making a false declaration to the person making this statement who directed me to sign it on [his] or [her] behalf] having first (a) appeared to me to understand the statement (b) approved its content as accurate and (c) appeared to me to understand the declaration of truth and the consequences of making a false declaration.’
(6) Where a statement of truth, or a certificate under paragraph (4) or (5), is signed by a conveyancer—
(a) the conveyancer must sign in their own name and not that of their firm or employer, and
(b) the conveyancer must state the capacity in which they sign and where appropriate the name of their firm or employer.
[Inserted by Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2008, rule 4(1), Schedule 1 paragraph 72, coming into force on 10 November 2008]
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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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