Office Copy Entries

7 min read
Office copy entries are certified copies of the land or charge certificate, obtained from the Land Registry, confirming ownership of a property.

An office copy entry is officially known as an Official Copy of Register of Title – and also a title register – and, in effect, is the certified, modern equivalent of the old Title Deeds, physical documents which were used in previous times to prove property ownership and show the ownership chain. In effect it is a snapshot of the details pertinent to the most recent title deeds relating to a particular property which is normally ordered by a vendor's solicitor to passing onto the buyer's solicitor for perusal. It is normally always accompanied by the Land Registry Title Plan which shows the general position of the property.

Nowadays, the only time the Land Registry has physical original Title Deeds in its possession is when property is being registered for the first time, in which case a solicitor registering the property must send them in to be scanned, after which they are returned to the solicitor.

This article provides you with all you need to know about office copy entries as a buyer or seller:

*Fixed Fee – No Sale No Fee – On all Major Lender Panels

Why would you get an office copy entry?

You would obtain an office copy entry as an owner of a property to prove that ownership if you intended to sell it.

If you have an interest in buying a property, you are also able to buy an office copy entry for it, if the property has been registered. You can ascertain who owns the property (freeholder), whether they have leased it out to one or more leaseholders and whether there are any charges on the property, such as a mortgage from a lender that hasn’t yet been redeemed.

There may, for example, be restrictions which might affect the registering of a new mortgage. There may also be covenants. You can also find out about the history of ownership of the property and other important matters such as any changes to its legal boundary.

How much does an office copy entry cost?

You can buy an office copy entry from the Land Registry for £3.

What’s in an office copy entry?

NB An office copy entry must have ‘Official Copy of the Register of Entries’ at the head of the first page. If it is not, or is headed ‘Register View’, then it is not an official copy and is not admissible as evidence of the contents of the register.

There are 4 sections:

1  Header;
2  Property Register;
3  Proprietorship Register; and
4  Charges Register.

This contains the following:

1 Title Number

Each separately registered parcel of land has its own title number, which is a unique identifier used by the Land Registry.

2 Edition Date

This date indicates when the title was last updated. This may have been, for example, when the property was last sold, when a mortgage was registered or when a restriction or notice was added. Any change causes a new edition to be created.

NB A new edition is not created just because someone orders an office copy entry.

3 Date and time of official copy

This is when the official copy was produced and the Land Registry guarantees that the copy’s contents are an accurate reflection of the information held at that date and time.

Anyone carrying out a priority search should use this date and time.

The office copy is technically out of date as soon as it is produced and this is why, in conveyancing, any office copy should be no more than 6 months old on completion of a sale.

4 Land Registry office which deals with the title

This sets down the details of the office at the Land Registry where applications for registration should be sent. Some solicitors’ firms, however, have their own dedicated team at the Land Registry which deals with such applications.

A: Property Register

This describes the land in the title and details any rights which benefit it.

1 County : District

Here you can find out the county the property is in and which local authority it comes under.

2 Property Description

This tells you whether the property is freehold or leasehold, details its address and sets down that the land’s boundaries are edged red on the title plan. The date at the start of the entry is the date of first registration with the Land Registry.

Any additional entries in this section will detail any rights affecting the land and give a date in brackets when the entry was made in the register. The rights are either listed here or refer to another document of which the Land Registry holds a copy.

A leasehold property will have an entry, giving basic details such as the lease date and the parties involved.

B: Proprietorship Register

This part tells you the class of title, who the current owner is and information about anything which affects the right of disposal.

Class of Title

The classes, listed from the highest possible, are as follows:
1 Absolute Title
2 Qualified Title
3 Good Leasehold
4 Possessory

If there is Absolute Title, this is "good against the world", meaning that the land is only bound by interests registered on the title or overriding interests. Possessory Title, at the other end of the scale, is contestable by third party interests created before the date of first registration even if they are not noted on the title.

If the title anything other than Absolute Title, you should be sure that you are seeking the appropriate legal advice to protect your interests.

Proprietor Details

Entry 1 is the name/s and address/es of the legal owners which the Land Registry holds for contact purposes. The date in brackets is the date when these owners were registered as such.

Price Paid

Entry 2 is the price paid when the current legal owners bought the property and the date it was bought.

NB If the property has not been sold since April 2000, there will be no entry here because the Land Registry’s information only extends this far.

Personal Covenants

This section lists any personal covenants given by the current owner to the former owner, commonly this might be an indemnity covenant.


Entries here prevent dispositions from being registered without an additional action being performed, which is normally obtaining a certificate or deed of consent from a third party.

Commonly restrictions are instituted by mortgage lenders; they might, for example, require a lender’s consent before any new mortgage is permitted on the property or before the property can change hands.

The Land Registry automatically removes mortgage lender restrictions entered in the standard form when the mortgage is repaid, but some restrictions are not in standard form, which can cause problems.

C: Charges Register

This section sets down any existing mortgages, other financial charges, notices and, most importantly any restrictive covenants (including, for example, easement rights) which affect the property. They appear in the order they were originally registered and earlier entries have priority over later entries.

This order is important because it is the order of entitlement in the event of any sale proceeds in the event of the property being repossessed or sold.

Why can’t I get an office copy entry?

As indicated above, if your property isn’t on the register, you have to apply for a first registration and send in the original title deeds. You should ask the solicitor who acted for you when you bought the property or, if you bought using a mortgage, the relevant mortgage company.

If you cannot get hold of your Title Deeds, you need to supply a statutory declaration or statement of truth and prove your ID. In the worst case scenario, you may only be able to obtain a possessory title, although you can apply to convert possessory title to absolute title after a period of 15 years.

For official Government guidance about finding out information about properties, click on Get Information About Properties

*Fixed Fee – No Sale No Fee – On all Major Lender Panels

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