Ceisteanna—Questions Oral Answers. - Land Registration.

68.

asked the Minister for Justice if, in view of the necessity for farmers to regularise their position as to title and to register their farms properly in the event of this country entering the EEC, he will consider waiving any costs involved due to failure on the part of previous generations to have such transfers and registrations put in order.

I presume that the Deputy is referring to the fees payable in the Land Registry which are the only costs in transactions in registered land over which I have direct control. The Land Registry fees are fixed by statutory order on the basis that, as required by section 14 (2) of the Registration of Title Act, 1964, the fees should produce an annual amount sufficient to pay for the running of the Land Registry. I have no power to waive those fees either in individual cases or for particular classes of persons. However, I would point out that in the type of case mentioned, where the title to land has not been kept in order for many years, the Land Registry fees are generally very small. For example, for registration of transmission on death where the rateable valuation of the land is £20 the fee is £4.50, and where the rateable valuation is £40, the fee is £6. The maximum fee in any such case is £9 and that is where the rateable valuation of the land exceeds £80. Indeed, where the registered owner died before the 1st June, 1959, no fee at all is payable in certain circumstances.

Are there no other legal fees associated with land registration?

Of course there would be. If the person concerned employs a solicitor he will have to pay the solicitor and there might or might not—more often not—be some small amount of stamp duty payable too.