Land Registry Circular Memorandum No. 5/05

1 December 2005

This circular provides information on Land Registry practice on withholding instruments from registration and revises the list of documents permitted to be presented even if not in compliance with Regulation 9(1) of the Land Registration Regulations (Cap.128 subleg).

Withholding Instruments from Registration

2. There are a number of reasons for the Land Registry withholding registration of an instrument presented to us. In most cases a simple, avoidable error has occurred. These errors cause more work for the Registry and for the lodging party. They can lead to additional costs and, if the instrument is not corrected or withdrawn, can cause complications for future dealings in a property.

3. To help those responsible for preparing instruments to avoid or correct such errors before lodgment, we have prepared a list of common reasons for withholding instruments, incorporating guidelines on correct procedures. The list is attached to this circular. It may be read in conjunction with our 'Memorial Form Easy Guide' which is available on our website (, together with copies of all earlier Land Office or Land Registry Circular Memoranda. A copy of the list will be posted to the website shortly. Future amendments or additions will be added to our website copy.

4. I trust that these guidelines will be of help to all those responsible for preparing instruments for registration. Within the Land Registry we have reviewed our procedures for withholding instruments to improve the quality of service. We welcome any suggestions or requests for further clarification that you may have so that we can further improve service and reduce the number of instruments that have to be withheld. A contact number and e-mail address are given below.

Exemptions from compliance with specifications for size and form of instruments

5. LRCM No. 15/96 set out five types of document which would be accepted even if they did not comply with requirements as to size and form set out in Regulation 9(1) of the Land Registration Regulations. The Land Registrar's consent is required on a case by case basis for any other type of document to be accepted if it does not comply with the regulation. A copy of this LRCM is attached for ease of reference.

6. With immediate effect, Provisional Agreements for Sale and Purchase are added to the list of documents for which general permission is granted for their lodgment in cases where they do not comply with the regulation. No individual consent is required in respect of non complying documents of this type in future.

7. This change is a response to the genuine difficulty some lodging parties face in influencing the form of these documents before they are prepared. Whenever you are able to advise on the form of a Provisional Agreement for Sale and Purchase we do recommend using the form and size of document set out in the Regulations since this makes the imaging of the documents much more straightforward.

8. For any enquiries on this circular, please contact our Customer Service Manager, Ms Winnie CHEUNG (now changed to Ms Eva LAU), at 3105 0000 or e-mail to us at