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Notes on registrability of instruments

Brief description

Section 2 of the Land Registration Ordinance provides that the Land Registry is an office for the registration of instruments in writing which may affect land in Hong Kong. The two main elements for registration are that the instrument must be in writing and the instrument affects land.

Registrable instruments
  • In writing
    An interest in land which is not created or evidenced by a written instrument is not registrable under the Land Registration Ordinance e.g. an oral agreement.
  • Affect land
    In general, an instrument affects land if it changes the ownership e.g. assignment, or creates an interest in land e.g. legal charge.

    Eamples of registrable instruments
    • Sale and Purchase Agreement
    • Assignment
    • Legal Charge
    • Charging Order
Unregistrable instruments
  • If the instrument does not affect land, then it is not registrable.
    Examples of unregistrable instruments
    • Unilateral document by a stranger to the title claiming an interest in a property
    • Plan without being attached to any instrument
    • Will
  • It is provided in Section 2A of the Land Registration Ordinance that a floating charge, before crystallization, is not an instrument which may affect land. A floating charge is therefore not registrable. On crystallization of the floating charge, the fixed charge can be registered.