Online House Hunter: Lords of the manor
There are a number of websites offering such titles for sale complete with a ‘parcel of land’ (usually about eight inches square). Such websites point out that presenting yourself as Lord or Lady Smith guarantees getting the attention of the person at the other end of the phone, the best table in the restaurant and many other benefits that come from owning a title in our snobbish society. You won’t get a seat in the House of Lords but you might get the best seat at the theatre.
Sure, it’s only a bit of fun but for just a couple of hundred pounds you’ll certainly struggle to find a more unusual birthday gift for someone. The websites I found via Google offering this service treat it with good humour and are quite clear about precisely what’s involved. It all revolves around registering for land and on the Land Registry website you’ll find their rather dour take on the whole matter. Their briefing document is at pains to point out precisely what a document from them with Lord Smith of Mayfair actually means in real terms.
I feel obliged to quote a lengthy extract as it explains it most clearly and with just a dash of dry humour:
“…what seems to be involved is simply a change of name from “John Smith” to “Lord John Smith”, presumably evidenced by deed poll. It is sometimes part of the scheme that Mr Smith also buys a plot of land and is invited to give it a name, such as “Mayfair”. His ownership of the land isthen registered in the register of title maintained by Land Registry.. We will issue a Title information Document instead of a land certificate, but this will again show information taken from the register of title, including details of the owner and the property. So, in the example given, the land certificate or Title Information Document will show that a “Lord John Smith” is owner of “Mayfair”. Mr Smith may then feel he can call himself “Lord John Smith of Mayfair”.
Nicely done. And on a more serious note, it’s just one of many useful documents provided by the Land Registry. See their website for more details.
The Land Registry also offers you the facility to find out the value of residential properties in any given area over a period of time, and whether a piece of land is registered (about 25 per cent of land in England and Wales is not registered).
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