Different Classes of Title of Ownership – What do they all Mean?

There are a number of different classes of title and it is important to know what each of them mean and whether they will pose any problems when applying to register a transfer of ownership.

The class of title of a particular property can be seen in the Official Copies of Register Entries under the section entitled ‘Proprietorship Register. ’
 On first registration of a property the Registrar will decide which class of title should be given to the property.

The different classes are as follows:

Absolute Title

This is the highest form of ownership and is really what you would want to see on the official copies if you were buying a property. Most properties are registered with this class of title. Where the title is leasehold, absolute title is granted where the Registrar also approves the Lessor’s title. Note the registrar may disregard a defect in the title if he is of the view that the defect will not cause the holding under the title to be interfered with.

Qualified Title

An owner may be registered with qualified title if the registrar is of the opinion that the title has only been established for a limited period or subject to certain reservations which cannot be disregarded.   Qualified title may be given, where, for example, upon first registration it was found that a transaction within the title came about due to a breach of trust. Qualified title may be given in these circumstances on the basis that the owner would take ownership subject to the interests of any of the beneficiaries under the trust. It is very rare to see someone registered with qualified title, in practice.

Possessory Title

Possessory title may be given where the applicant is in possession of the property, or is in receipt of rents and profits and there is no other class of title that can be given. Where there are no title deeds to prove ownership or the deeds have been destroyed the registrar would  normally grant Possessory Title. It is usually given to those with a claim under ‘Adverse Possession’ or ‘Squatters Rights. ’

Good Leasehold

Good leasehold title will be granted where the registrar is satisfied as to the title of the leaseholder only and not the freeholder. This could be the case where there freehold title is unregistered and where the applicant fails to submit evidence of the freehold title when applying to register his leasehold title. Good leasehold title is not accepted by some lenders and those that will lend, generally require indemnity insurance to be taken out on completion.

There are ways to upgrade good leasehold title.  Call us on 033 0660 0286 to discuss with a Conveyancing Solicitor.