Monograph : Interpretation of a Land Search

(2) Land searches
· Since the implementation of the Central Registration System in February 2005, land search services have been available at the Land Registry in Queensway Government Offices ("QGO") as well as seven New Territories Search Offices or over the Internet through the Integrated Registration Information System (IRIS) Online Services.
· You can place orders for land registers and plain or certified copies of registered documents of properties at the Land Registry at QGO or at any of the seven New Territories Search Offices or through the IRIS online services.

All land registers are divided into four parts:


property particulars – including a property reference number assigned to each property, address, lease term, lot number and share of the lot, etc.

o owner particulars – including owner's name, ownership particulars (for example, joint tenants, tenants in common, administrator, etc).
o incumbrances – including deed of mutual covenant, agreement for sale and purchase, mortgage, lease, building order, court order, letter of compliance, etc.
o deeds pending registration – that is, instruments already lodged for registration but yet to complete the registration process.
· There are two types of land register obtainable by conducting a land search for a property. The first type is a current land register which contains only the current information of a property. The second type is a historical and current land register which contains both historical and current information affecting the property.
· Estate agents would normally conduct a current search. However, some clients may wish to learn historical information about the property. In such circumstances, the agent may have to conduct a historical and current land search.
· A land register enables us to ascertain what documents have been registered in the Land Registry 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 effect on the property. In this situation, a search of the particular document has to be conducted in order to obtain a copy of the document itself. All registered documents including government leases and conditions of sale, grant, exchange, etc, have been converted into electronic images for storage.
· For details of search procedures, fees, addresses and telephone numbers of the Land Registry, please refer to the Land Registry pamphlet How to Conduct Searches of Land Records or visit its website at http://www.info.gov.hk/landreg/
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