Land Registry Circular Memorandum No. 6/07

3 December 2007

This circular announces the changes to the practices of the Land Registry in withholding instruments from registration and to the requirement for documentary proof for application for refund of registration fee in respect of instruments with no or nominal consideration.

Withholding Instruments from Registration

2. With a view to reducing the number of instruments required to be withheld from registration, the Land Registry issued a Circular Memorandum No. 5/05 in December 2005, attaching a list of common reasons for withholding instruments incorporating guidelines on correct procedures. We have reviewed the effect of this Circular Memorandum. It appears to have been beneficial to lodging parties and will be maintained. In addition, we have decided to introduce the following changes in relation to completion of Memorial in order to further simplify certain matters for the lodging parties and for the Land Registry:

(a) Requirement for inserting "official address not yet known" on Memorial
In accordance with Land Office Circular Memorandum No. 89, it has been a requirement for lodging parties to insert the words "official address not yet known" in the Memorial for premises where the address is not yet known.

With immediate effect, the Land Registry no longer requires the lodging parties to insert "official address not yet known" in the Memorial for those cases where the address is not yet known.

We will continue the practice of withholding instruments from registration where the address of the premises affected is known but has not been inserted in the Memorial.

(b) Requirement for inserting "Chinese address not known" on Memorial
The provision introduced in the Land Registration (Amendment) Ordinance 2002 on specifying the Chinese address in Memorial came into effect when the Land Registry launched its Integrated Registration Information System in February 2005. Since then, lodging parties have been required to specify the Chinese address of the premises (if known) or insert the words "Chinese address not known" (if Chinese address is not known) in the Memorial.

With immediate effect, the Land Registry no longer requires the lodging parties to insert "Chinese address not known" in the Memorial when the Land Register contains no information on the Chinese address.

We will continue the practice of withholding instruments where the Chinese address of the premises affected is already shown on the land register but the same has not been inserted in the Memorial.

(c) Slight deviation of the property description in Chinese from the description in English
Unless there is a contradiction or ambiguity between the Chinese and English addresses of the properties, the Land Registry will not withhold instruments from registration simply because of slight deviation of the property description in Chinese from the description in English as stated in Memorial. For example, "3樓B單位" for "Flat B on 3/F", "九龍旺角彌敦道101號" for "101 Nathan Road, Kowloon", etc.

 

Documentary proof for application for refund of registration fee for instruments with no or nominal consideration

3. As stated in Land Registry Circular Memorandum No. 1/95, the registration fee chargeable for instruments with no or nominal consideration shall be at the same level as that applicable to an instrument with a consideration exceeding $750,000. Therefore, the fee of $450 payable under item 1(b) in the Schedule to the Land Registration Fees Regulations will be charged for instruments with no or nominal consideration. The said Circular stated that an application for refund of registration fee would be considered upon production of evidence which shows that a lesser amount of registration fee should have been charged. Generally, the Land Registry has only accepted an assessment on property value by the Rating and Valuation Department as supporting evidence in an application for refund of registration fee.

4. The Land Registry has decided to expand the scope of acceptable documentary proof to include either:

  1. a currently issued valuation report for the affected premises from an estate surveyor; or
  2. currently issued written confirmation of the property value of the affected premises from a financial institution.

5. For any enquiries on this circular, please contact our Customer Service Manager, Ms Allan CHAN (now changed to Ms Eva LAU), at 3105 0000 or e-mail to us at csa@landreg.gov.hk