Q1: Which kinds of instruments can be registered?
A: Any deeds, conveyances, judgments and other instruments in writing which affect real and immovable property can be delivered to the Land Registry for registration, subject to the provisions of the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap. 128) be complied with.
Q2: I have entered into a tenancy agreement for a term of two years with a tenant. Do I need to submit the agreement for registration in the Land Registry?
A: You do not need to do so. Under Section 3(2) of the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap. 128), the priority of a tenancy agreement with a term not exceeding three years will not be affected even if it is not delivered to the Land Registry for registration.
Q3: Should registered instruments for which new stamp duty has been paid be registered again?
A: There is no such requirement in the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap. 128). However, you may choose to register the instruments again if you wish to do so.
Q4: Is a carbon copy Provisional Agreement for Sale and Purchase acceptable for registration?
Q5: If an Assignment and a Mortgage are delivered for registration with wrong sequence, will the same be acceptable for registration?
A: As far as the relevant Assignment evidencing the Mortgagor has interest in the affected property has been delivered for registration, the Land Registry would proceed with the registration of the Assignment and the Mortgage.
Q6: Are there any criteria to determine the registrability of documents?
A: Under Section 23 of the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap.128) (the "LRO"), the Land Registrar is obliged to register an instrument if it affects land and complies with the provisions of the LRO and the Land Registration Regulations (Cap. 128A) (the "LRR"). Hence, only instruments affecting land and comply with the requirements under the LRO and LRR are registrable.
Q7: Can unstamped Provisional Agreement for Sale & Purchase of Car Park be accepted for registration?
A: No. Since the enactment of Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 2014, agreements for sale of non-residential properties are also chargeable with stamp duty. To avoid delay in the registration process, the lodging solicitors are reminded to submit the instrument to the Stamp Office to ascertain if it is liable to stamp duty before lodging the instrument for registration.
Q8: For re-registration cases, our opinion on whether the mistake sought to be corrected is considered as a material or as non-material is sometimes different from that of the Land Registry. How can we follow up the case?
A: The guidelines set out in Land Office Circular Memorandum (LOCM) Nos. 102 & 108 regarding the acceptance of re-registration cases should be complied with. For details, please refer to the said Memorandum.
Q9: If there are minor discrepancies in parties’ names between the instrument and the land registers, what should I do to ensure that the instrument is acceptable for registration?
A: Please refer to Land Registry Circular Memorandum (LRCM) No. 3/99. For names of parties with identification number information in the land records, we require lodging solicitors to add cross reference such as “also known as XXX” in memorial whereas for cases without identification number, we require addition of the relevant cross reference to the memorial and confirmation by solicitors in writing that the two names refer to the same person.
Q10: If the property address in a Provisional Agreement for Sale and Purchase is somewhat different from that of the land register, will it be accepted for registration?
A: The property address stated in a Provisional Agreement for Sale and Purchase should tally with that of the land register. However, we will adopt a flexible approach as far as possible and may accept the instrument for registration if you can produce documentary evidence such as Demand for Rates and/or Government Rent issued by the Commissioner of Rating and Valuation to support that the property description in the instrument is correct.
Q11: An instrument chargeable with stamp duty is not stamped before it is delivered for registration. Will the instrument be registrable under the same memorial after it is duly stamped?
A: No. As the date of stamping is later than the date of delivery, the lodging party should withdraw the instrument from registration and lodge the duly stamped instrument for registration under a fresh memorial number.
Q12: If there is a change in the capacity of the purchasers between an Agreement for Sale & Purchase and an Assignment (e.g. from tenants-in-common to joint tenants), will registration of the Assignment be acceptable?
A: If the lodging party’s written confirmation is provided and the memorial no. of the Agreement for Sale & Purchase is not stated in the "Memorial No. of Transaction Satisfied" box of the memorial, the Land Registry will accept the Assignment for registration.
Q13: Will the Land Registry accept an instrument for registration that is delivered one month later than its date of instrument?
A: Yes. The Land Registry will accept its registration if the instrument affects land.
Q14: If the affected property is described as “Office No. 1” in a Provisional Agreement for Sale and Purchase but related land records show that it is “Shop No. 1”, will the instrument be accepted for registration?
A: No. The property description in the instrument and the corresponding memorial should tally with that shown in the land records.
Q15: Will Land Registry accept registration of an instrument in which the lot description defined therein bears an additional part, such as "including any further extension(s) thereto (if any)", that is not shown in land records?
A: The Land Registry will accept an instrument for registration if the lot description(s) in both instrument and memorial tally with that stated in land records.
Q16: If a joint tenant of a property dies abroad, will the Land Registry recognise a Death Certificate issued by foreign country for purpose of registration?
A: In general, a Death Certificate issued by the proper issuing authority of a foreign country may be recognised by the Land Registry for purpose of registration provided that the Death Certificate has been authenticated by that country.
- For country or territory who has participated in the Hague Convention (abolishing the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents) ("the Convention"), the Death Certificate should be endorsed with a “Certificate of Apostille” issued by the proper authority in that country or territory certifying the signature and/or seal of the issuing authority of the Death Certificate are/is true.
(For countries or territories participated in the Convention, please refer to the related website: http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.status&cid=41)
- For country or territory who has not participated in the Convention, the Death Certificate should be endorsed with:
- a certificate issued by the proper authority (or foreign ministry office, as the case may be) in that country or territory certifying that the signature and/or seal of the issuing authority of the Death Certificate are/is true; and
- a certificate issued by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in that country or territory certifying the genuineness of the signature and/or seal of the proper authority (or foreign ministry office) mentioned in (i) above.
Q17: Is Sealed Copy Writ of Summons acceptable for registration?
A: A Sealed Copy Writ of Summons may be acceptable for registration if it is a lis pendens i.e. any action or proceeding pending in a court or tribunal that relates to land or any interest in or charge on land. However, if the claim is only in relation to monetary sanctions, such Writ will not be considered as a lis pendens that relates to land or any interest in or charge on land and is not acceptable for registration.
Q18: If an instrument delivered for registration is not in Chinese or English, will the same be accepted for registration?
A: If an instrument delivered for registration is not in Chinese or English, the lodging party should lodge that instrument together with a Chinese or English translation for our scrutiny as to whether the relevant registration requirements under Land Registration Ordinance (Cap. 128) and Land Registration Regulations (Cap. 128A) have been complied with. Please note that the Chinese or English translation cannot be lodged for registration in place of that instrument.