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Law guide

Order Charging Land (OCL)

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Order Charging Land

This is an Order of the court placing a 'charge' on the debtor's property, such as a house or a piece of land. Where the property is held by more than one person, all other people on the title will also be given notice. The charge will be issued by the EJO upon receipt of title information and an Application for Full Enforcement. The Order Charging Land will not normally get you your money immediately, but it may safeguard your money for the future.

A charge on a property means that if the property is sold, the charge is usually paid first before any of the proceeds of sale can be given to the debtor. You should note that the Order Charging Land does not compel the debtor to sell the property, although an order for sale may be made under separate proceedings.

If there are already charges on the property when your charge is registered, for example, arising from a mortgage, then that charge will be paid first.

Upon receiving title information the EJO will issue a Notice of Intention for an Order Charging Land to all the registered owners of the property. This gives the registered owners notification of the pending Order. It also gives them time to raise an objection. Should the debtor or another registered owner not object to the Order then the EJO will issue the Order Charging Land. If the debtor or another registered owner objects to the Order being issued (for example, they may have paid the debt or be paying the debt or selling the property with the intention of paying the debt from the proceeds), a hearing will be arranged before the Enforcement Master at the EJO to question the grounds as to why this Order should not be issued. The Enforcement Master will then decide on whether the Order should be granted.

When can I apply for an Order Charging Land?

Enforcement Orders will only be issued on receipt of a Full Enforcement Application. The EJO will only issue this Order upon confirmation of title, to ensure that the property is owned or partly owned by the debtor.

Title information can be obtained under a Property Search within the Land Registry or Registry of Deeds for a small fee.

How do I register the Order Charging Land ?

The order needs to be registered against the title to secure it to the property as a charge on the property, so that the creditor can enforce their power of sale under same if necessary and also to ensure that if the property is re-mortgaged or sold then the debt will be repaid.

The method of registration of the Order will depend on how the property is registered.

Land Registry

There is a fee of £70 to have the Order registered. You must complete a Form 100A which can be obtained from LRNI

Include:

  • Completed Form
  • Order Charging Land
  • Payment of £70 made payable to 'DFP General Account'

Registry of Deeds

There is a fee of £13 to have the Order registered. There will also be a charge to a solicitor for registration against this property, as a Memorial will have to be prepared in order to register the charge in the Registry of Deeds.

Where can I get a property search?

These searches can be conducted by:-

  • A solicitor/law searcher
  • Yourself online at LRNI, if you have a business account
  • Yourself, by attending the local Land Registry office to carry out the searches directly

Should you require further assistance Land Registry can be contacted on 028 9025 1515.

Can I force the debtor to sell their premises?

There may be circumstances in which you are able to force the debtor to sell the charged premises; however, this can be costly and discussions should be made with a solicitor as separate proceedings or possession are required.