Land Registration Act
- Commenced on 1 June 1954
- [This is the version of this document at 30 November 2019.]
- [Note: This Act has been thoroughly revised and consolidated under the supervision of the Attorney General's Office, in compliance with the Laws Revision Act No. 7 of 1994, the Revised Laws and Annual Revision Act (Chapter 356 (R.L.)), and the Interpretation of Laws and General Clauses Act No. 30 of 1972. This version is up-to-date as at 31st July 2002.]
Part I – Preliminary provisions
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Land Registration Act.
3. Maintenance of land registry
4. AdministrationThe Minister shall appoint a Registrar of Titles to perform the duties and exercise the powers imposed and conferred by this Act and may appoint a Deputy Registrar and any number of Assistant Registrars, who shall be subject to the directions of the Registrar of Titles.[G.N. No. 478 of 1962]
5. Signature of Registrar to be judicially noticedAll courts, judges and persons acting judicially shall take judicial notice of the signature of the Registrar.
6. Seal of officeThere shall be a seal of the land registry and any document purporting to be sealed with that seal shall be admissible in evidence.
7. Indemnity of officersThe Registrar shall not, nor shall any person acting under the authority of the Registrar or under any rule made in pursuance of this Act, be personally liable for or in respect of any act or matter done or omitted to be done in good faith in the exercise or supposed exercise of the powers conferred by this Act or by any rule made in pursuance of this Act.
Part II – First registration of existing titles
8. Registrable estates
9. Power to make orders rendering registration compulsory in certain areas
10. Application for registration
11. Applications not to abateAn application for first registration shall not abate by reason of the death, bankruptcy or disability of the applicant or of any disposition made by him, but may be adopted and continued by his legal personal representative, trustee, committee or successor in title, as the case may be, and any reference in this Act to an applicant shall include any such legal personal representative, trustee, committee or successor in title so adopting and continuing an application.
13. ObjectionsAny person who claims to have any estate or interest in the land comprised in an application for first registration may, at any time prior to the determination of the application by the Registrar, give the Registrar notice in writing objecting to the first registration of the land in the name of the applicant and setting out the grounds of his objection.
14. Investigation of title
15. Certain roots or title acceptable
16. Adverse possessionFor the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that an application for first registration may be made by a person claiming to have acquired a title to a registrable estate by adverse possession or by reason of any law of prescription.
17. Registrar’s discretion to suspend compromise
18. Decision allowing application
19. Dismissal of applicationWhere the Registrar is not satisfied that a good title has been shown, he shall dismiss the application.
20. Decision of Registrar to be evidence in other proceedingsSubject to the provisions of section 102, the decision of the Registrar allowing or dismissing any application shall, in any subsequent civil suit, cause or matter between the applicant and any person who gave notice of objection to the application, be conclusive evidence of the matters therein contained and shall, in any subsequent civil suit, cause or matter between the applicant and any person who did not give such notice of objection, be prima facie evidence of the matters therein contained.
21. Applications not to be repeated
22. Registrar to record reasons for his decisionIn every case where a notice of objection has been given under the provisions of section 13 and has not been withdrawn and in every case where the Registrar dismisses an application, he shall, when allowing or dismissing the application, record his reasons therefor.
23. Registration to be deferred in certain casesWhere the Registrar allows an application he shall register the estate in the name of the applicant:Provided that, where the application is one in respect of which a notice of objection has been given under the provisions of section 13, he shall defer first registration for the period of one month and within that period a notice of intention to appeal against his decision is delivered to him under the provisions of section 102, he shall defer registration until such appeal has been determined.
24. Conditions imposed by former German government to run with landAny subsisting covenants or conditions contained in any grant of land made by German Government or imposed by that Government at the time of any disposition of land under any law formerly in force shall, on first registration, be recorded in the land register and when so recorded shall be deemed to run with the land so registered.
25. Incumbrances subsisting at first registration
26. Disposal documents of titleThe Registrar shall retain all documents of title produced to him in support of any application for first registration:Provided that, where any such documents relate also to unregistered land not comprised in the application, the Registrar shall endorse them with a note of the application and return them to the person who produced them.
Part III – Grants of public land
27. Grants of public land and certificates of occupancy to be registeredEvery grant of public land for a Government lease and every certificate of occupancy made or issued after the coming into force of this Act shall be delivered to the Registrar who shall thereupon register the estate therein comprised in the name of the grantee or occupier:Provided that, the Registrar shall not register a certificate of occupancy in respect of a right of occupancy:
28. Covenants and conditions in grants and certificates of occupancyAll covenants and conditions contained in any grant of public land or certificate of occupancy shall, on the registration of the grant or of the certificate of occupancy, be recorded in the land register in such manner as the Registrar may determine and when so recorded shall be deemed to run with the land.
29. Mortgages of agreements for rights of occupancyWhere any person to whom the President has agreed to grant a right of occupancy over any land has mortgaged or charged his interest under such agreement and such mortgage or charge is subsisting at the time when a certificate of occupancy relating to that land is delivered for registration, the Registrar shall register the mortgage or charge as an incumbrance against the title and when so registered it shall be deemed to be a mortgage within the meaning of section 57.
Part IV – Manner and effect of registration
30. Form and contents of land register
31. Manner of registration
32. Time of registration
33. Estate of registered owner paramount
34. Memorials to give actual noticeEvery person acquiring any estate or interest in any registered land shall be deemed to have actual notice of every subsisting memorial relating to such land in the land register at the moment when he acquires such estate or interest and, in the case of subsisting memorials inscribed in those parts of the land register which contain the description of the land and the particulars of incumbrance, of any filed documents to which those memorials refer.
Part V – Certificates of title
35. Owner entitled to receive certificateThe owner of an estate in any parcel shall be entitled to receive a certificate of title under the seal of the certificate land registry in respect thereof, showing the subsisting memorials in the land register relating thereto and co-owners may, if they so desire, receive separate certificates of title in respect of their respective shares:Provided that, it shall not be necessary to issue a certificate of title in respect of any public land registered in the name of the President.
36. Endorsement of certificates of title
37. Registrar may require production of certificates of title
38. Lost certificates
39. Mutilated certificates to be replacedWhere any certificate of title has been mutilated or is soiled or damaged or otherwise rendered illegible, the Registrar may in his absolute discretion and at the expense of the owner, issue a new certificate of title in lieu thereof and may destroy the certificate of title so replaced.
40. Certificate of title to be evidenceA certificate of title shall be admissible as evidence of the several matter therein contained.
Part VI – Dispositions
(a) General provisions
41. Disposition of land
42. Power of Registrar to reject deedsWhere it appears to the Registrar that any deed presented for registration is improper in form or in substance or is not clearly expressed, or does not indicate with sufficient precision the particular estate which it is intended to affect, or contains material provisions which are not the proper subject of registration under this Act or covenants or conditions which do not in law run with the land or are not capable of being annexed thereto, or is otherwise expressed in a manner inconsistent with the principles on which the land register is to be kept, he may refuse registration, either absolutely or subject only to such modifications therein as he shall approve.
43. Implied convents may be variedEvery provision, covenant and power implied in any deed by virtue of this Act may be negatived or modified by express declaration in the deed or in any deed made supplemental thereto.
44. Covenants to be joint and severalWhere in any deed a covenant is made or implied by or on the part of two or more persons, such covenant shall, unless the deed otherwise provides, be construed to bind such persons jointly and severally.
45. Joint tenant and tenancy in commonNo deed drawn in favour of two or more persons shall be registered unless it expresses whether such persons are joint tenants or tenants in common, and, in the case of a tenancy in common, the share of each coowner.
46. Implied receiptWhere any deed is expressed to be made in consideration of a sum of money, there shall be implied in the deed a receipt for such sum.
47. Deeds not include unregistered landA deed may relate to two or more parcels but no deed shall be registered which relates to unregistered as well as registered land.
48. Original deeds to be retained
(b) Special provisions relating to transfers
49. Transfer of lease
50. Transfers subject to mortgagesIn every transfer of a registered estate subject to mortgage, there shall be implied a covenant by the transferee with the transferor, to pay the interest secured by the mortgage at the rate and at the times and in the manner therein specified and to keep the transferor indemnified against the principal sum secured by the mortgage and from and against all liability in respect of any of the covenants therein contained or implied on the part of the transferor.
51. Transfers in exercise of power of sale
52. Owner may transfer to himselfFor the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that any person may make a transfer to himself and another person or, together with any other person, to himself alone.
53. Division on transfers be verticalNo transfer of the freehold estate in, or of a right of occupancy in respect of which a certificate of occupancy has been issued over part of a parcel shall be registered unless the division thereof is made vertically.
(c) Special provisions relating to leases
54. Certain leases not registrable
55. Reversionary leasesA lease of registered land may be made for a term to begin on a future date, not being later than twenty one years from the date on which the lease is executed.
56. Implied convents and powers
(d) Special provisions relating to mortgages
57. Effect of registered mortgageA mortgage shall, when registered, have effect as a security and shall not operate as a transfer of the estate thereby mortgaged, but the lender shall have all the powers and remedies in case of default and be subject to all the obligations that would be conferred or implied in a transfer of the estate subject to redemption:Provided that, in the case of a mortgage of a registered lease, the lender shall not be liable to the landlord for rent or in respect of the covenants and conditions contained or implied in the lease to any greater extent than he would have been had the mortgage been by way of sub-lease; and the court may grant the lender the like protection against the forfeiture of the lease as it may grant to a sub-lessee.[Act No. 24 of 1963 4th Sch.]
58. Mortgages may secure future debtsFor the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that a mortgage of a registered estate may be made to secure the payment of an existing or a future or a contingent debt or obligation.
59. Mortgages by companies and cooperative societies
61. ConsolidationWhere a lender has the right to consolidate his mortgage with any other mortgage, the Registrar shall, on the application of the lender, record such right in the land register against such of the mortgages as are registered and no such right shall be exercisable to the prejudice of any person acquiring any estate or interest in registered land prior to the inscription of such right in the land register.
62. Implied convents by borrowerThere shall be implied in every registered mortgage covenants by the borrower with the lender binding the borrower—
63. Deposit of mortgage money
64. Creation of liens by deposit
(e) Special provisions relating to partitions
65. Partition subject to mortgage
66. Parcels to be divided verticallyNo partition shall be registered which entails the division of a parcel, unless such division is made vertically.
Part VII – Transmissions
(a) Transmissions on death
67. Registration of legal personal representativesOn the death of the owner of any estate or interest, his legal personal representative, on application to the Registrar in the prescribed form and on delivering to him an office copy of the probate of the will or letters of administration to the estate of the owner, or of his appointment under Part VIII of the Probate and Administration of Estates Act or the Fourth Schedule to the Magistrates' Courts Act shall be entitled to be registered as owner in the place of the deceased.[Ord. No. 35 of 1961 s. 140; Cap. 352; Cap. 11]
68. Dispositions and assents by legal personal representative
69. Registration of survivor of joint owners
70. Cancellation of lease determinable on deathWhere any registered lease is expressed to be determinable on the death of the tenant, the memorial in the land register relating to such lease shall be cancelled on the application of any interested person accompanied by proof of the death of the tenant.
(b) Other transmissions
71. Registrar to record changes by operation of lawSubject to the provisions the Law of Limitation Act, where the Registrar is satisfied that any person has become entitled to any estate or interest in any registered land by the express provision of any written law, or by any order, declaration or certificate made, granted or issued under the provisions of any written law or by operation of law not herein otherwise provided for, he may, on the application of any interested person, supported by such evidence as he may require, record the same by registration or entry.[Cap. 89]
72. Titles acquired by adverse possession
Part VIII – Orders of court
73. Entry of prohibitory orders and injunctionsThe Registrar shall enter in the land register as an incumbrance any order or injunction issued by a court restraining any disposition or staying any registration, where an office copy of such order or injunction is served upon him by or on behalf of any interested person, and any memorial so entered shall, while subsisting, operate to prevent the registration of any disposition incompatible with such order or injunction, and any such memorial shall be cancelled by the Registrar if an office copy of an order annulling or rescinding such order or injunction is served upon him by or on behalf of any interested person.
74. Authorities and directionAn order of a court authorising or directing any person to execute any deed or make any application or do any other thing under this Act shall not require registration or entry, but an office copy of the order shall be annexed to the deed, application or other document before the same is presented for registration or entry.
76. Winding upWhere a company within the meaning of the Companies Act is being wound up by the High Court and the High Court makes an order vesting any registered estate or interest in the liquidator, the liquidator may serve on the Registrar an office copy of such order and shall thereupon be entitled to be registered by his official name as owner of that estate or interest.[Cap. 212]
77. Appointment of receivers and managers generallyAn order of a court appointing any person as a receiver or manager of the property of any owner which does not operate to vest the property of such owner shall not be registered or entered, but any such receiver or manager may lodge a caveat under the provisions of section 78.
Part IX – Caveats and injunctions
79. Power of Registrar to enter injunctions
Part X – Trusts
81. Settled land
Part XI – Mutations
82. Combination of parcelsThe Registrar may, on the application in the prescribed form made with the consent of the Commissioner for Lands, of the owner of Government leases or of rights of occupancy over any contiguous parcels, combine such parcels by cancelling the folios of the land register relating thereto and preparing a new folio or new folios in respect of the parcel resulting from such combination:Provided that, parcels may only be combined—
83. Division of parcelsThe Registrar may, on the application in the prescribed form made with the consent of the Commissioner for Lands, of the owner of Government leases or of a right of occupancy over any parcel, divide such parcel into two or more parcels by cancelling the folio or folios of the land register relating thereto and preparing new folios in respect of the new parcels.Provided that, where the Government lease or the right of occupancy, as the case may be, is subject to a mortgage the parcel shall not be divided unless the consent in writing of the lender is first produced to the Registrar:And provided further that, no parcel shall be divided otherwise than vertically.[Act. No. 24 of 1963 4th Sch.]
84. Combination or division subject leaseThe Registrar may effect the combination of any parcels or the division of a parcel whether or not any such parcel is subject to a lease.
Part XII – Maps, plans and boundaries
86. Index map
87. Power of Registrar to rectify index map
88. Plans to support applications, dispositions and mutations
89. Boundaries only general
90. ForeshoreNo land below high water mark at ordinary spring tides of the sea or of a tidal river shall be deemed to be included in any parcel unless the contrary is expressly stated in the land register.
Part XIII – Execution of deeds
91. Execution by all parties requiredNo deed shall be registered unless executed by all persons who are parties thereto and attested in accordance with the provisions of this Act:Provided that, a discharge of a mortgage shall not require execution by the borrower:Provided further that, the Registrar may for good cause dispense with the signature of a transferee.
92. Manner of executionA deed shall be deemed to have been executed—
94. Presumption of due execution under corporation sealWhere a seal purporting to be the seal of a corporation has been affixed to a deed and attested by persons purporting to be those whose attestation is required by the provisions of section 93, the Registrar may accept the deed as duly executed and no disposition effected by such deed in favour of a bona fide purchaser for value shall be defeasible by reason of any irregularity in such sealing or attestation.
95. Employment of agentsNo application for first registration, a deed or withdrawal of any caveat, a notice of deposit, signed by any person as agent for any other person shall be accepted for registration or an entry unless the person signing the same was authorised in that behalf by a power of attorney executed and attested in the manner prescribed for deeds by sections 92 and 93.
96. Filing of power of attorney
Part XIV – Searches and copies
Part XV – Rectification of the land register and indemnity
99. Rectification of land register
100. Right to indemnity in certain cases
Part XVI – Appeals from decision of the Registrar
101. Decisions to be in writingWhere under this Act the Registrar makes any decision or order or does any act he shall, on the application of any person affected thereby, give that decision or order in writing and state his reasons therefor or, as the case may be, give his reasons in writing for that act.
102. Appeals to High Court
Part XVII – Miscellaneous provisions
103. Power for Registrar to record acts in exercise of powers
104. Power of Registrar to state caseWhenever any question arises with regard to the performance of any duty or the exercise of any of the functions by this Act conferred or imposed on him, the Registrar may state a case for the opinion of the High Court; and thereupon the High Court shall give its opinion thereon, which shall be binding upon the Registrar.
105. Power of Registrar to require attendance of witnessesWhere any question arises as to whether any registration or entry should or should not be made, or whether any memorial inscribed in the land register should or should not be corrected or cancelled or where by this Act or any rule made thereunder the Registrar is expressly or impliedly authorised or required to inquire into, investigate, give any decision on or exercise any discretion as to any matter, he may order any person—
106. Power of Registrar to take statutory declarations
107. Power of Registrar to make order as to costsThe Registrar shall have power to order that the costs, charges and expenses incurred by him or by any other person in connection with any investigation, hearing or inquiry held by him for the purposes of this Act shall be borne and paid by such person and in such proportions as he may think fit, and any such order shall be deemed to be a rule of court.
108. Power to register without prior payment of fees
109. Power to destroy obsolete documentsThe Registrar may destroy any documents or plans in his possession or custody where in his opinion they have become obsolete or have ceased to have any effect.
110. Service of notice
111. Estate duty
112. Provisions of Registration of Documents Act excludedThe registration of a document under the provisions of the Registration of Documents Act shall not affect, with notice thereof, any person acquiring any estate or interest in any registered land.[Cap. 117]
113. OmittedAmendments incorporated in relevant Ordinances.
115. Repeal of lawsRepeals the Land Registry Ordinance and the Land Registry (Amendment) Ordinance, 1947-1949, with transitional and consequential provisions.[R.L. Cap. 116; Ord. No. 33 of 1947—1949]
History of this document
30 November 2019 this version
01 June 1954