Re-registration of Instruments Affecting LandThe purpose of this Memorandum is to remind solicitors of the practice of the Land Office in relation to the re-registration of instruments affecting land.
Although the Land Registration Ordinance does not specifically provide for re-registration of corrected instruments already registered, the Land Office has for many years adopted the following practice regarding re-registration:
- If a mistake in an already registered instrument is sought to be corrected and the mistake is considered by the Land Office to be non-material, the already registered instrument, as so corrected, may be re-registered by a fresh memorial provided the correction is initialled by the attesting solicitor or one of the parties to the instrument.
- If the mistake sought to be corrected in the already registered instrument is considered by the Land Office to be material but not to alter the legal effect of the instrument, the already registered instrument may be accepted for re-registration by a fresh memorial provided the correction is initialled by either one of the parties to the instrument and the attesting solicitors or by all the parties to the instrument.
- If the attesting solicitor has left the firm and cannot be located, initialling by a current partner of the firm will be accepted.
- If any party to the instrument consists of more than one individual (e.g. joint tenants, trustees etc.) and the party is required to initial the correction, all the persons of which the party consists must do so.
- If the correction amounts to an alteration of the legal effect of the instrument, re-registration of the already registered instrument will not be accepted.
- In many cases, the correction in spelling of the name of a party may or may not be material. Where the mistake is obvious and there is documentary evidence to support the correct spelling e.g. a Hong Kong Identity Card or previous title deed, such amendment will be treated as minor in nature and will be dealt with under (1) above. Where there is no supporting evidence, a change of name will be regarded as an alteration of the legal effect of the instrument, and re-registration will not then be permitted.
- Henceforth, in order to substantiate the reasons for re-registration, an instrument delivered to the Land Office for re-registration should be accompanied by a letter from the solicitor lodging the instrument for re-registration stating or including the following:
- where in the instrument the amendment has been made;
- whether, in their opinion, the correction is material or non-material;
- evidence to substantiate their opinion;
- the identity of the person or persons who have initialled the correction.
(Noel M. Gleeson)