Land Registry Practice Guide 40 Supplement 2

To read the full version of this document updated in January 2017 go to the website. The following paragraphs are extracts from the document.

9.3 Using existing plans

We often receive applications where the plan used to identify and define the land was originally prepared for a different use, for example, plans drawn for architectural or engineering purposes. These often look impressive but, as they were prepared for a specific purpose other than to show the extent of land sold, they rarely conform to the guidelines in Table 1. Architectural or engineering plans concentrate on their primary purpose rather than seek specifically to provide a reliable and accurate depiction of title to land or of extent. A plan originally drawn as a location plan or road map will probably be at a scale that is too small to show the extent accurately.
Providing such plans follow the guidelines in this supplement and the extent of the land and easements is clear and unambiguous, the application can be processed. However, this is not always the case and plans that are in any way ambiguous are rejected.

9.4 Reference to old deed plans

Mainly with first registrations, the deed inducing registration often refers back to plans contained in earlier deeds in the chain of title. Providing we can relate the extent to the current Ordnance Survey map and the extent of the land in the deed is not in doubt, we will complete the registration on the evidence supplied. When referring back to older deeds in this way you should pay particular attention to any areas that have been previously sold off and whether any beneficial easements referred to in the property description are still exercisable. In circumstances where the deed plan is not sufficient to allow clear identification of the land, we may ask for an additional plan to be lodged. The plan does not have to be signed by the parties and it will be treated as though it was attached to the application form.

9.5 Plans that have been reduced in scale

Where it is clear that the plan contained in a deed or copy deed is a reduced copy of the original, it is only acceptable provided either a bar scale has been used or:

  • the plan contains a statement that it is a reduced copy
  • the original scale has been deleted
  • the actual scale has been calculated and shown on the face of the plan in place of the original scale.

In all cases the reduced plan must be clear and unambiguous.

9.6 Plans based on an official copy of the title plan

Whether in paper form, or electronic format, plans based on an official copy of the title plan will not normally be rejected providing:

  • there are no manual alterations to the official copy that result in the extent being in doubt
  • an electronic official copy has not been so distorted by the electronic transmission process, printing and any subsequent copying, that the extent is in doubt.

9.7 Photocopied plans

It is often the case that plans contained in deeds are photocopies of photocopies. Each time a plan is copied the accuracy and clarity is lost. A plan that already has edgings or colour on it before it is copied invariably suffers the most from this treatment. It follows that care must be taken when using photocopied plans to ensure that the extent of the land is clearly shown and that the plan has not been distorted in the copying process.

9.8 Plans printed from PDF

Land Registry is increasingly rejecting plans lodged with applications because they are not to the stated scale. We suspect that plans are being accurately produced and sent as a PDF to solicitors. When they are printed from the PDF they are often inadvertently reduced to fit the paper size and are therefore no longer to the stated scale.

Software settings can be adjusted to print the plan without a reduction in size.
When printing PDF files, 'Page scaling' on the 'Print' menu can default to the 'Shrink to printable area' option (or a similar option, depending on your software). The 'Preview' panel will show the reduction in size expressed as a percentage.

To print without a size reduction, select 'None' in the 'Page scaling' drop-down list. Depending on the size of the original image, the size of the paper may need to be changed.

To change the paper size, select the 'Properties' button, select the 'Paper/Quality' tab and then select the size of paper required from the appropriate 'Paper options' drop-down menu.

After 'Page Scaling' has been changed it will subsequently default to 'None' on that PC for the user who changed it. If a different PC is used 'Page Scaling' will again need to be changed.