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Monograph : Conveyancing Contents
(8) Land Registration

 

 
1.

System of registration

Land registration in Hong Kong is currently a system of registration of instruments, that is, the Land Registry simply keeps a record of the instruments which affect land. Registration of instruments is not evidence of the vendor's title and neither the Land Registry nor any government authorities can and will guarantee that the title to a certain piece of land is good. In reality, the obligation to prove whether title to a particular piece of land is good or not rests with the vendor of that piece of land.

   
2.

Registrable instruments

S.2 of the Land Registration Ordinance provides in essence that the following instruments are registrable, namely, all deeds, conveyances and other instruments in writing and judgments by which any land (immovable property) in Hong Kong may be affected.

   
3.

Mechanics of registration

An instrument submitted for registration at the Land Registry will be accompanied by a duly completed and signed memorial which is a summary of the particulars of the instrument. On completion of the registration process, a memorial number will be designated to the instrument for identification purposes and for differentiating it from other instruments. The original of the instrument will usually be returned to the solicitors who submitted it for registration.

A land search record is divided into four parts, namely, Property Particulars, Owner's Particulars, Incumbrances and Deeds Pending Registration, as shown in the following sample land search record:

Specimen land register

物業資料
Property Particulars

物業參考編號
PROPERTY REFERENCE NUMBER (PRN): A1234567

地段編號
LOT NO.: Inland Lot No. 1234

批約 HELD UNDER: GOVERNMENT LEASE

年期 LEASE TERM: 999 YEARS

開始日期 COMMENCEMENT OF LEASE TERM: 24/06/1892

每年地稅 RENT PER ANNUM: $90.00

所佔地段份數
SHARE OF THE LOT: 1/1,000

物業地址 ADDRESS:

FLAT A on 8th FLOOR
BLOCK 8, LUCKY GARDEN
8 LUCKY STREET, HONG KONG

 

備註 REMARKS:


業主資料
Owner Particulars

業主姓名
Name of Owner

身分
(如非唯一擁有人)
Capacity
(If NOT Sole Owner)

註冊摘要編號
Memorial No.

文書日期
Date of
Instrument

註冊日期
Date of
Registration

代價
Consideration

LI MIN

Joint Tenant

UB123456

1/5/2001

20/5/2001

$3,000,000

WONG KIN

Joint Tenant


物業涉及的轇轕
Incumbrances

註冊摘要編號
Memorial No.

文書日期
Date of
Instrument

註冊日期
Date of
Registration

文書性質
Nature

受惠各方
In favour of

代價
Consideration

UB100000

15/4/1996

3/5/1996

Building Mortgage

Asia Bank

All Monies

UB100999

1/11/1997

24/11/1997

Release

-

-

UB100001

1/3/1997

24/3/1997

Deed of Mutual Covenant

-

-

UB120000

1/4/2001

18/4/2001

Agreement

LI MIN
WONG KIN

$3,000,000

UB123457

1/5/2001

20/5/2001

Mortgage

HK Bank

All Monies



等待註冊的契約
Deeds Pending Registration

註冊摘要編號
Memorial No.

文書日期
Date of
Instrument

交付日期
Date of
De
livery

文書性質
Nature

受惠各方
In favour of

代價
Consideration

UB124888

10/11/2001

18/11/2001

Order No.
DR103/HK/01 under S.24(1) of the Buildings Ordinance

Building Authority

-

 

In the above sample record, the following points should be noted:

1. LIN MIN and WONG KIN are the current registered owners of the subject premises and they jointly (as joint tenants) hold 1/1,000th equal undivided share in Inland Lot No.1234.
   
2.

The property is now subject to the following incumbrance:

Mortgage Memorial No.123457

   
3. Documents and deeds appearing in the "Deeds Pending Registration" part of the land register are those which have recently been submitted to the Land Registry for registration and are being scrutinised to see if they are registrable and if the formalities for registration have been complied with (that is, the registration process is not yet complete).
   
4. In the above case, title to the property may be defective due to the possible registration of Order Memorial No.UB124888 (an order involving unauthorised building works). A purchaser of the above property may require the order to be discharged before completion. In practice, both parties may agree that the vendor deposit an agreed sum with the vendor's solicitors as stakeholders for the purpose of discharging the order.
   
4.

Priority of instruments

Generally, the priority of registered instruments depends on the priority of their respective dates of registration.

S.5 of the Land Registration Ordinance further provides that if an instrument is registered within one month of its date of execution, it is entitled to priority from the date of execution. If an instrument is registered after one month of its execution, it is only entitled to priority from the date of registration.

Example 1

 

Date of execution

Date of registration

Effective date of priority

Document 1

1/12/2001

25/12/2001

1/12/2001

Document 2

3/3/2002

10/4/2002

10/4/2002

Example 2

Date of execution

Date of registration

Document 1

10/2/2002

23/2/2002

Document 2

13/2/2002

20/2/2002

In the above example, Document 1 will have priority over Document 2 since the effective date of priority of Document 1 is 10/2/2002, whilst that of Document 2 is 13/2/2002.

Example 3

Date of execution

Date of registration

Document 1

10/2/2002

23/2/2002

Document 2

8/2/2002

28/2/2002

In the above example, Document 2 will have priority over Document 1 since the effective date of priority of Document 2 is 8/2/2002, whilst that of Document 1 is 10/2/2002.

Example 4

Date of execution

Date of registration

Document 1

10/2/2002

23/2/2002

Document 2

8/2/2002

10/3/2002

In the above example, Document 1 will have priority over Document 2 since the effective date of priority of Document 1 is 10/2/2002, whilst that of Document 2 is 10/3/2002.

   
5.

Non-registration

S.3(2) of the Land Registration Ordinance provides in effect that all registrable deeds, conveyances, and other instruments in writing, and judgments, which are not registered, shall, as against any subsequent bona fide purchaser or mortgagee for valuable consideration of the same property, be absolutely null and void to all intents and purposes.

   
6.

Land search

A land register makes it possible to ascertain what documents have been registered in the Land Registry (website: http://www.landreg.gov.hk) relating to a property. However, it may sometimes be necessary to obtain a particular document in order to find out its contents and to ascertain its exact effect on the property. In this situation, a copy of the document itself may be obtained from the Land Registry.

 
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