§ Mr. Stallard
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the method of registration of land ownership in Northern Ireland and of recording changes of ownership.
§ Mr. David Howell
The system of registration of title in Northern Ireland is operated under the Registration of Title (Ireland) Act 1891. As with other systems of registration of title, the object is108W to give certainty to titles to land, to facilitate proof of title, and to make dealings with land simpler and more economical.
The Act of 1891 makes registration compulsory in certain specified cases and voluntary in all other cases. At present registered titles relate largely to land that is, or at the time of first registration was, rural and not urban. The system of registration was altered in some respects, but not changed basically, by the Land Registration Act (Northern Ireland) 1970, which also contains provisions for extension of compulsory registration. Because of the difficulty of obtaining suitable staff for the Land Registry, it has not yet been possible to implement fully the 1970 Act.