A land certificate was an official certificate issued by the Land Registry. The document was intended to prove who owns a property within England or Wales. It could also relate to the ownership of a piece of land.
If a mortgage or other charge was placed on a property, i.e. a secured personal loan or similar product, the land certificate would be replaced by a charge certificate. This would highlight the fact that another party had an interest in that property or land relating to the loan taken out to purchase it. The charge certificate would be sent to the lender rather than the person owning the land or property.
However, today, the Land Registry doesn’t use either of these certificates anymore. The Land Registration Act 2002 rendered them obsolete. Today, land titles can be sought by owners to prove they have legal ownership of the property or land in question.
If an owner already possesses a land certificate that they were issued prior to the Land Registration Act 2002 being brought in, they can keep it, but it is no longer recognised as such under the law.
Anyone wanting to know whether a property or piece of land is registered can contact HM Land Registry to find out more. The Land Registry has information on approximately 83% of property and land throughout England and Wales. Even if you find an old land certificate, it will be dated by many years and may no longer be accurate. Therefore, getting a copy of the title register held by HM Land Registry is the best place to begin when sourcing up-to-date information.