Public Guide 1 : A guide to the information kept at the Land Registry and how it can be obtained
A system of land registration also makes it simpler to buy, sell and charge (or mortgage) land and property.
There are three parts to the Land Register-
- The first part of the register is the Property Section. This contains a description of the land in the title and the title classification e.g. Absolute, Provisional or Crown. It also refers to a Block Number and Parcel number together with an approximate area in acres. It may also give details of any rights or appurtenances that benefit the land, such as a right of way over nearby land. In the case of a leasehold title, it gives brief details of the lease.
- The second part of the register is the Proprietorship Section. This gives the name and address of the legal owner. It shows whether there are any restrictions on their power to sell, mortgage or otherwise deal with the land.
- The third part of the register is the Encumbrances Section. This contains details of registered mortgages and notice of other financial burdens secured on the property and usually gives details of the amounts of money involved and the interest rates payable. It also gives notice of other rights and interests that affect the property including cautions or covenants and restrictions that limit how the property can be used.
Block Plans are also kept in the Land Registry. The location of the registered land is shown on the block plan.
This, along with the documents otherwise known as Instruments that have been used to lodge applications are kept in the Land Registry.
Turks & Caicos Islands
Tel: (649) 946 2801
Fax: (649) 946 1410
Requests can be made in persons by visiting the Land Registry. In any event, the Land Registry Form RL23 has to be completed. One Form should be completed for each registered title that need to be viewed or copied.
The fees payable are US$25.00 where an application to inspect the Register is being made. The same fee is payable where a certified copy of a document/Instrument is being requested.
An individual can apply for an official copy of any document referred to in the Land Register, or any document that is not referred to in the register that relates to an application
These documents are available as of right under the Registered Land Ordinance.
To obtain a copy of a document that is not referred to in the Land Register, as much information as possible, needs to be supplied. This should include the date of the document, parties to the document and the date (or approximate date) that the document was sent to the Land Registry. This will assist in finding the correct document in the Registry files.
Persons should avoid asking for "all documents connected with the transfer to me" unless the information is specifically needed. This is because 'all information n' would include application forms and routine letters on file in the Registry. These may be of little interest but could increase the fees payable.
If you want more information about the possible legal or business effects of registration, or a similar matter, you should think about getting legal advice. The Land Registry cannot give legal advice.
If the investigations do not reveal that the information in the Land Register is incorrect we will advise you accordingly. If there is a mistake, it will be rectified.
Public Guide 2 : Keeping your address for service up to date
Your address for service up to date so that the land Registry can send and you can receive important letters or notices.
If there is more than one address for service, they are entered on the register in the following order.
- Postal address or Attorney’s address
- Email address
Note that service of Notices as required under the Registered Land Ordinance cannot be done via email.
Land and buildings can also be attractive targets for fraud. Ensuring that your address for service is up to date is one example of how to safeguard against property fraud.
If an address for service is not up to date then this may adversely affect any claim for indemnity from Land Registry.
If an application is made to change an address for service, the Land Registry may write to the registered proprietor(s) of the property, whose address (es) have been updated, to confirm that the application is genuine.
Notices may be served on previous addresses as well as any current addresses for service if it is deemed appropriate.
If you have any other legal right to or interest in a property registered, please contact or write to the Land Registry Office to indicate or change an address for service
If you are not an attorney and wish to apply to change your address for service, or want to authorize someone to apply on your behalf to change an address, you and/or the person applying on your behalf must supply evidence of identity. The evidence to be supplied will depend on who the applicant or person lodging the application is.
Your contact details cannot be confirmed over the telephone for security reasons.
The evidence to be provided may include the following:
- A passport-sized photograph taken within the
last three months
- Birth Certificate
- Documents detailing the length of time you
have lived at your current address or any other addresses you have lived at in the
last five years.
We may also require a photocopy of either:
- The bio data page of a current valid full passport (i.e. the page displaying the passport number, expiry date, photograph etc.).
- A current Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom or overseas photo card driving license (not a provisional license).
- A utility bill less than three months old or
- A mortgage statement for the mortgage accounting year just ended.
Items 3 and 4 must be postal statements not statements received electronically. They must relate to the property to which the application to change address for service related or show either your existing address or a new address that you are applying to add to the Register.
If you are unable to supply any of this information please contact the Land Registry at-
Turks & Caicos Islands
Tel: (649) 946 2801
Fax: (649) 946 1410
Public Guide 3 : Changing Your Name on the Land Register
If there has been no application to change the name on the Register and an application signed in a new name or another name is received, the application cannot be processed unless there is evidence to reconcile the difference in the names on the register and on the application.
Land Registry requires evidence of a change of name before the Land Register can be updated. This is particularly important to prevent identity fraud.
Individuals as well as companies can make an application to the Land Registry for a change of name.
Change of name for individuals
Where a woman’s name has been change by reason of her marriage, the original or an official copy of her marriage certificate together with a covering letter should be submitted to the Land Registry requesting that there be a change of her name of the Land Register. The original marriage certificate will be returned.
Where a woman wishes to revert to her maiden name on divorce, an official copy of the Decree Absolute or other proof of the finality of the divorce should be submitted to the Land Register under cover of letter applying for the change of name.
By Deed Poll
Where a persons is applying to have his name changed via Deed Poll, a copy of the Deep Poll should be submitted under cover of letter applying for the change of name.
Statement of Truth
The Land Registry will also accept a statutory declaration or a statement of truth as evidence of change of name. The original statutory declaration or statement of truth must be lodged along with a certified copy of same if the original is to be returned.
A statement of truth should contain details of the change of name and end with the following statement:
"I believe that the facts and matters contained in this statement are true."
It should be dated and signed. There is no need to make the statement before an Attorney.
Statutory declaration or Affidavit
These are similar to statements of truth, but with a different wording prescribed by law. They have to be sworn before someone able to take oaths such as a Notary Public.
The Land Registry will always require evidence of identity for all changes of name by Deed Poll, Statement of Truth or Statutory Declaration or Affidavit.
If an individual is making the application, he/she will need to supply evidence of identity.
If an attorney is being used to make the application, the attorney will have to confirm his client’s identity by providing a certificate as follows:
“I confirm that I am satisfied that sufficient steps have been taken to verify the identity of ………………………… and that they are the registered proprietor or the person named in entry number [x] in the register of title(s) …………”
Change of name of companies, etc.
A company registered in the Turks and Caicos Islands may change its name by company resolution. However, it is not effective until the change of name is registered at Companies House. Once this is done a copy of the certificate of incorporation of change of name issued by Companies House should be submitted to the Land Registry.
Public Guide 4 : Acquisition of land by prescription
The right must have been exercised without force, secrecy or permission. The right must be one that could be lawfully granted to the applicant.
As much documentary evidence as possible is needed to show that the requirements of prescription have been met. This includes, but is not limited to, the following statutory declarations, receipts for work or service paid for by the applicant on the property, etc
Any gap in the continued use of the property has potential to cause problems.
Possession can be considered interrupted in the following circumstances:
- By a physical entry upon the land by any person claiming it in opposition to the person in possession with the intention of causing interruption
- By the institution of legal proceedings by the owner of land in order to assert his rights to his property
- By an acknowledgement made byu the person in possession of the land that another person is the owner of the subject property.
Any person who claims to have acquired land by prescription should make an application to the Registrar of Lands for registration as owner of the relevant land.
The Registrar of Lands will then advertise the application at the expense of the applicant in a manner deemed appropriate by the Registrar of Lands.
Notice of the application will also be given to the owner of the land affected as well as any other person the Registrar may think would be affected.
Once a month has elapsed from the date of the first notice, if the Registrar is satisfied that the applicant has acquired ownership of the land claimed, the application may be allowed and the applicant registered as proprietor of the land claimed. This is subject to any interest on the register which have not been extinguished by possession.
- No person can acquire Crown Land by prescription.
- No person acting in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of another can acquire ownership to land as against the person with whom he has a fiduciary relationship.
Public Guide 5 : How to prevent your application from being rejected
We would like to ensure that your documents are processed expeditiously. The list below highlights some of the most frequent reasons for rejection of Applications. Documents should be checked thoroughly against this list before lodging the application to minimise the instances of rejection.
- Documents not dated.
- Failing to describe the land correctly as on Land Register.
- Failing to request that the Registrar dispense with the signing in relation to a prty required to a document such as the Transfer of land.
- Not submitting documents in duplicate.
- Documents not being signed by the correct party or his legitimate agent.
- The documents not being properly witnessed.
- Not establishing a proprietary interest in the land in respect to a Caution.
- Not reconciling the names of the parties involved when there are major disparity as appearing in supporting documents and on the Land Register.
- Not affixing the seal of companies where required
- Not stating the tenancy of the transferees.
- Not maintaining consistency of words and figures.
- Not submitting original or certified copy of required documents.
- Not submitting the Release of restrictive agreements where applicable.
- Not stating the capacity of the person(s) signing on behalf of corporations.
- Not stating the capacity of the witnesses in attestation clause.
- Consent of Chargee or Cautioner are outstanding.
- Complete address of parties not being stated.