The Registry of Deeds was established in 1707 to provide a system of voluntary registration for deeds and conveyances affecting land and to give priority to registered deeds over unregistered registerable deeds. There is no statutory requirement to register a document but failure to do so may result in a loss of priority. The effect of registration is generally to govern priorities between documents dealing with the same piece of land. The Registry of Deeds currently operates under the provisions of part 3 of the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006 and the Registration of Deeds Rules 2008 which came into effect on 1 May 2008.
The primary function of the Registry of Deeds is to provide a system of recording the existence of deeds and conveyances affecting unregistered property. When a Deed is lodged in the Registry of Deeds it must be accompanied by the relevant ROD Application Form (as prescribed by the Registration of Deeds Rules 2008). This ROD Application Form replaced the Memorial which is a summary of the relevant details of the original Deed. It should be noted that the Registry of Deeds does not guarantee the effectiveness of a Deed nor does it interpret a Deed, but only records the existence of the Deed.
The ROD Application Form contains the date of the deed, details of the parties to the deed and a description of the property affected by the deed. Each application is given a serial number in order of the date and time of lodgement and the priority given to registered documents is based on the serial number allocated. When the application is completed, the original Deed is not filed in the Registry but is returned to the lodging party. Maps are not held as part of the registration record. The ROD Application Form (formerly the Memorial) is filed as a record in the Registry of Deeds.
As the Register of Deeds is a public Register any person may, on payment of the prescribed fee, carry out a Search to discover the existence of deeds affecting a piece of property filed there. However, a search in the Registry of Deeds will disclose only whether documents have been executed dealing with the land in question – to discover the effect of these documents, the documents themselves (which are not retained by the Registry of Deeds) will have to be examined. The Registry of Deeds cannot carry out Genealogical research but customers can consult our records which date from 1708. See Searches.
Published 11 August 2010