HC Deb 11 November 2003 vol 413 cc279-80W
Mr. Blunt

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether all paper deeds will be returned to the registered land and home owners rather than destroyed in the process of putting the Land Registry on-line. [136704]

Mr. Lammy

When making an application to Land Registry, a customer may now request the return of any of the documents lodged with the application subject, in most cases, to providing a certified copy.

For documents lodged on or before commencement of the Land Registration Act 2002 on 13 October 2003, registered owners have five years from that date to request the return of a document lodged by them or by a previous owner.

No decision has yet been made by Land Registry as to whether, and if so in what circumstances, documents will be destroyed. However, the Land Registration Rules 2003 require that before any documents are destroyed (and subject to the five year period for certain documents, as mentioned above) the Chief Land Registrar must be satisfied that either he has made a sufficient copy of the document or that further retention is unnecessary.