There are a number of terms that solicitors may use when discussing the land or site, rather than the building when it comes to buying and selling houses. Here’s a brief explanation of what some of these terms mean.
- Land Registry Map
- Boundary Check
- Certificate of Identity
- Declaration of Identity
- First Registration Map
- Certified Folio
Land Registry Map
The Property Registration Authority maintains the Irish Land Registry. This is a centralised system that records who owns each parcel of land. As of 2023 93% of the total land mass of the State and almost 90% of the legal titles in Ireland are now registered in the Land Registry. If a property is registered, then a map showing the boundaries of the property is available from the land registry. The main benefit of the system is that the land registry ensure that no two maps overlap so ownership can be determined. Land Registry maps can be viewed on LandDirect.ie
When you are purchasing a property, the contract documents will contain a map with the boudaries of the land that you are buying marked out. When an Engineer or Surveyor visits a property to carry out a boundary check, they will be verifying that the boundaries on the ground, the walls, hedges, ditches, fences etc… match what is on the map. Where a back wall stands does not legally mark the boundaries of your property. The line marking your back boundary on a Land Registry map does.
Boundary checks for properties less than 1 hectare (approx 2.5 acres) are included as standard in HomeCheck Pre-purchase Surveys.
Certificate of Identity
A Certificate of Identity is a statement by a qualified person (e.g. an Engineer or Surveyor) stating that that a map they are providing with the statement accurately reflects the boundaries of the property. In addition they will also certify (state that it is true) that the property can be accessed directly from a public road. It will also certify that the property
In a nutshell, a Cert of Identity is a statement that helps a property seller prove to a buyer that they have no dependency on any neighbour or other private land owner, and they are capable of independently providing access for people and vehicles, and avail of water and water water systems.
Declaration of Identity
A Declaration of Identity is when a statutory declaration is made in regard of a Cert of Identity. This declaration is usually overseen by solicitors.
First Registration Maps
While most properties are registered in the Land Registry, a significant amount are not as of yet. When an unregistered property is sold, the conveyancing Solicitor is obliged to reister the property – a process called Compulsory First Registration. A special map needs to be prepared by a and Engineer or Surveyor defining the boundaries, called a Map for First Registration. The Land Registry will assign the land area a Folio Number that is the unique identifier for your property.
A Certified Folio is a document provided by the Land Registry which may be accepted as evidence of registration. It includes the map in addition to documentation relating to the ownership of the land, and any special conditions like a right of way.