Dear Land Registry,

Your recently released open data on commercial land ownership includes a field called "Title Number". Example values include "MM786", "P7073", "HW8112" and "WM990994". I wish to know how those identifiers are generated - are they random, or sequential, or is there some meaning to their structure? Do the letters "MM","P", "HW" and "WM" (and others) stand for anything? If so, what? Is there a check digit in the numerical part?

Please provide the handbook(s), process document(s) or other standard(s) describing how these IDs are generated; otherwise (or additionally) a plain- language explanation.

If you are wiling to place this information on your website, and supply the URL, I would consider my question answered. Otherwise, please supply the answer in an editable text or word processor document; or a plain-text email.

Yours faithfully,

Andy Mabbett

Sondh, Gurmale, Land Registry

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mabbett

Thank you for your enquiry dated 12 December 2017 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

The title number is our identifier for the property. They consist of a county prefix of letters followed by a sequential number. As I understand it, the system just allocates the next available number for that prefix when an application requiring a new title is captured. We allocate new titles when a property is registered for the first time, when part of a registered property title is sold (e.g. a plot on a building estate), when a new lease is granted, or when we want to replace an obsolete title number.

The county prefixes are mainly based on the 1965-74 county boundaries, but some were created for our administrative convenience. In the past work was allocated to one of our regional offices based on where the property was, if a county was dealt with by more than one office, then two title prefixes existed. This goes back to the days before computer working when the next title number was on a roll of stickers, so it could only be at one office.

Our system only allows title numbers up to 999,999. Some counties have exceeded that number, so a second prefix has had to be created for them. This is the case of WA and CYM for Wales, GM and MAN for Greater Manchester etc. We now tend to choose a new series from a number of pre-loaded series, hence YY for West Yorkshire but as KT or KK was not available for Kent, we had to make do with TT.

This article gives the history of title numbers in more detail, while the attached document lists the title prefixes.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.

If you are dissatisfied with this response to your request, you may seek an internal review within two months of the date of our reply. Internal reviews will be dealt within 20 working days. If at the end of this time we are unable to respond, we will write to you explaining the reasons and giving you a new date. If you seek an internal review please write to:
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Email: [email address]

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Yours sincerely,

Gurmale Sondh
Senior Corporate Information Officer
Corporate Legal and Assurance Services
Email : [email address]
Land Registry Head Office, 4th Floor, Trafalgar House, 1 Bedford Park, Croydon, CR0 2AQ
GOV.UK | @LandRegGov | LinkedIn | Facebook

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From: Andy Mabbett [mailto:[FOI #452234 email]]
Sent: 12 December 2017 11:03
To: _FOI email address <[email address]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Method for generating identifiers

Dear Land Registry,

Your recently released open data on commercial land ownership includes a field called "Title Number". Example values include "MM786", "P7073", "HW8112" and "WM990994". I wish to know how those identifiers are generated - are they random, or sequential, or is there some meaning to their structure? Do the letters "MM","P", "HW" and "WM" (and others) stand for anything? If so, what? Is there a check digit in the numerical part?

Please provide the handbook(s), process document(s) or other standard(s) describing how these IDs are generated; otherwise (or additionally) a plain- language explanation.

If you are wiling to place this information on your website, and supply the URL, I would consider my question answered. Otherwise, please supply the answer in an editable text or word processor document; or a plain-text email.

Yours faithfully,

Andy Mabbett

Your land and property rights: guaranteed and protected. HM Land Registry has given assurance and confidence to the property market in England and Wales since 1862. Find out more at www.gov.uk/land-registry

If you have received this email and it was not intended for you, please let us know, and then delete it. HM Land Registry checks all mail and attachments for known viruses, however, you are advised that you open any attachments at your own risk.

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prompt and detailed reply; this is just what I wanted to know.

However, you say "This article gives the history of title numbers in more detail" - which article, please?

Yours sincerely,

Andy Mabbett

Owen Boswarva left an annotation ()

My guess is it's the same History of Land Registry Title Numbers article provided in a 2013 FOI response:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Sondh, Gurmale, Land Registry

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mabbett,

Thank you for your email. I attach a copy of the article as requested. For some reason it has not worked in your earlier email.

Yours sincerely,

Gurmale Sondh
Senior Corporate Information Officer
Corporate Legal and Assurance Services
Email : [email address]
Land Registry Head Office, 4th Floor, Trafalgar House, 1 Bedford Park, Croydon, CR0 2AQ GOV.UK | @LandRegGov | LinkedIn | Facebook

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Dear Friends,

That's very helpful, thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Mabbett

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