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Common Reasons for Withholding Instruments from Registration

1. Instrument not affecting land
  • An instrument does not affect land if it does not call for a change of title, does not prevent or limit the change of title or does not create any interest in land.
  • A document claiming an interest in a property unilaterally by a stranger to the title is not registrable. See LOCM No. 108.

    Solicitors are advised not to lodge such documents for registration.
2. Non-compliance with the Stamp Duty Ordinance
  • Instruments chargeable with stamp duty that have not been stamped.
  • The names of parties / premises affected in the Stamp Certificate are different from the instrument.

    Lodging parties should ensure that instruments have been stamped before presentation to the Land Registry and that the names of parties or premises in the instrument match those in the Stamp Certificate.

3. Non-compliance with LOCM No. 102 / LOCM No.108 (for re-registration cases)
  • A letter required under item (7) of LOCM No. 102 has not been provided.

    Please ensure that such letter is provided with the instrument.

  • The amendments amount to an alteration of the legal effect of the original instrument.

    Re-registration of the instrument in such cases is not acceptable.

  • A material amendment has not been initialled by one of the parties to the instrument and the attesting solicitors or by all the parties to the instrument.

    Please check carefully that all material amendments are properly initialled.

  • Documentary evidence required to support the amendment of the name of party concerned has not been provided.

    Please provide documentary evidence to support any amendment to names

4. Discrepancy of information between instrument and memorial or missing information / clerical error found in instrument or memorial

Please ensure that the information stated in the memorial tallies with the particulars of the instruments.

  • If the consideration of a Legal Charge/Mortgage is to secure all monies, inputting "Nil", "N.A.", "as specified in the deed", etc. in the memorial is not acceptable.

    "All Monies" should be stated in the memorial form.

  • The premises description is recorded in land register as "Flat 2 on 13/F of Block A, YYY Court", but the flat is described as "Flat 1302" or "Flat 1302 on 13/F" and the block as "XXX House" in the instrument and memorial.

    Please follow the flat and block descriptions used in the land register.

    State in both the memorial and instrument the exact functional description of the premises (such as Workshop No.1, Factory Unit A, Office Unit 1201, Storeroom B, Lorry Car Park No.6, etc.) according to the premises description in the land register.

5. Non-compliance with Regulation 9(1) of the Land Registration Regulations (in respect of paper size, colour, etc)
  • A document lodged for registration that is not in A4 size, and printed or written in black ink on one side only of white paper or azure ledger paper may not be accepted for registration without good reason.

    LRCM Nos.15/96 and 5/05 give general permission for six classes of documents to be accepted for registration even if they do not comply with the specified size and colour. In any other case, the Land Registry will consider accepting a non complying document only if it is accompanied by a letter from the lodging party giving good reason as to why it could not be prepared in the specified size and colour.

6. Address in memorial does not comply with LRCM No. 6/95 (which specifies the address format to be used in memorials under various situations)
Where the instrument contains only the old premises number and street name, the old premises number and street name followed by the words "now known as (the correct premises number and street name)" should be stated in the address box of the memorial.

Where the instrument contains both the old and correct up-to-date addresses, the correct up-to-date address should be stated in the address box of the memorial.

7. Defect in solicitor's certification
  • The 'signature of the solicitor' / 'Date' / 'Solicitor's firm' is missing in the solicitor's certificate in the memorial.
  • The date of certification is earlier than the date of instrument.
  • The date of certification is later than the date of registration.

    Please ensure that all parts of the certificate are properly completed before lodgment.

8. Extra / missing page of instrument or part thereof or plans
  • The schedule or execution page of the instrument is missing.
  • A copy of the plan(s) larger than A3 size has not been annexed to the memorial although it is attached to the instrument.

    Please check that all pages or plans are in order before lodgment.

9. Non-compliance with LRCM No. 3/99 (for party's name)
  • There are discrepancies in a party's name.

    Table 1 in LRCM No. 3/99 sets out guidelines on discrepancies in party's name that will be accepted by the Land Registry. Table 2 sets out discrepancies that are unacceptable and advises on steps that can be taken to resolve such discrepancies.

10. Instrument lodged is not the original or an acceptable form of copy
  • An instrument presented for registration is neither the original nor an acceptable form of copy as specified in Schedule 3 to the Land Registration Regulations.

    Please check that the instrument is not an unacceptable copy before lodgment.

11. Insufficient registration fee
  • Prescribed registration fees set out in the Schedule to the Land Registration Fees Regulations are not paid in full when instruments are lodged for registration.

    For Assignment, Mortgage, Release, Receipt and other instruments chargeable under item 1 of the Schedule to the Land Registration Fees Regulations, where there is no consideration, nominal consideration or the consideration is not stated, the maximum registration fee is payable unless the lodging solicitors can produce evidence to prove that the value of the property is under $750,000.

    Please ensure that sufficient registration fees are paid when an instrument is lodged for registration. If only part of the fee is paid, the Land Registry will accept the document but will withhold registration until the balance of the fee is paid.

12. Other document(s) should be lodged for registration prior to registration of the subject instrument
  • Mortgage is lodged for registration prior to the preceding Assignment.
  • Assent is lodged for registration prior to the preceding Letters of Administration/ Probate.
  • Sub-sale Agreement for Sale and Purchase/Nomination is lodged for registration prior to the preceding Agreement for Sale and Purchase.
  • Cancellation Agreement is lodged for registration prior to the preceding Agreement.
  • Subsequent dealings are lodged for registration prior to Death Certificate for "joint-tenancy" cases.

    In all such cases, please try to ensure that the document with prior effect is lodged for registration either before or together with the subsequent instrument. The subsequent document will be withheld until the prior document is lodged for registration.

13. The party does not have the capacity to hold land
  • An unlimited company is shown as a party.

    An unlimited company is not an independent legal entity and thus cannot hold land. In such case, the party should be described as "Mr. ABC (HKID No. A123456(0)) trading as XYZ Co.".

14. Property Reference Number (PRN)
  • The PRN is not specified in the "Property Reference Number" box in the memorial.
  • The words "PRNs of all affected units" are not stated in the "Property Reference Number" box in the memorial for instrument which is lodged for registration against all units in the same development.
Please refer to paragraph 4 of LRCM No. 2/05 for guidance on use of the PRN.
15. Chinese property address and Chinese names of parties
  • The Chinese address of a property is not specified in the memorial as per Land Registry records.
  • An incomplete Chinese address of a property is stated in the memorial e.g. only street name is stated but not the full address including the information of the block, floor and flat.
  • The Chinese names of parties are not stated in the memorial as per instrument.

    LRCM 2/04 (paragraph 15) provides guidelines on the completion of Chinese addresses.

16. Others
  • The instrument is undated.

    Please check that an instrument is properly dated before lodgement.

  • Identification numbers of parties are not stated in the memorial for instrument effecting change of ownership.

    The identification numbers of parties must be given in such cases.

  • Company Registration Number/Business Registration Number (as the Unique Business Identifier adopted by the Companies Registry with effect from 27.12.2023) of the limited company is not stated in the memorial for instrument effecting change of ownership.

  • For a company incorporated overseas, the words "incorporated in XXX" is not stated in the memorial.

    Please ensure this statement is made before lodgement.

  • The coloured part on the plan attached to instrument is not indicated with colour code.

    Please check that colour codes are provided.

  • Only the nature of an instrument (e.g. Letter, Agreement, Deed, etc.) is stated in the "Nature and object of the instrument" box of the memorial. The object of instrument is omitted.

    Please ensure that the object of the instrument is included in the memorial before lodgement.

  • For Amended Order/Letters of Administration/Probate, the date of amendment is not included in the "Date of Instrument" box of the memorial.

    The date should be stated as: "(original date of order) as amended on (date of amendment)".

  • The "Memorial number of transaction satisfied" box of the memorial is not completed in accordance with Regulation 6(1)(f) or 6(2)(f) of the Land Registration Regulations.

    Please ensure that the reference to the relevant Memorial number is provided before lodgement.