Title deeds demonstrate ownership of land or property, as well as highlighting personal and restrictive covenants and setting out registered charges such as a mortgage.
The record is kept at Land Registry and a search can be performed of the register whereby copies of the office copy of the register and title plan can be downloaded at a small cost, in a matter of a few minutes.
Some people have title deeds in their homes, or perhaps stored with the banks holding the mortgage. Frequently, these deeds are pre-registration deeds and documents because, further to compulsory registration from the 1990’s, all records became electronic. You should pass any such documents to your solicitor when buying or selling property, even if you consider these deeds and documents to be obsolete.
However, there remains a small pocket of land ownership in the UK which is known as ‘unregistered land’. The owners may have escaped compulsory registration if the property has been in their ownership for an extended number of years. Indeed, it is usually at the point of probate that we find such unregistered properties.
The title deeds in respect of unregistered land are of vital importance as they record the chain of ownership from which the property can be sold or transferred (and registered with Land Registry). You should ensure that your solicitor has all of these deeds and documents when giving instructions to sell or transfer the property.
If you are selling, buying or re-mortgaging residential property, or need advice about other residential property transactions, speak to our property law specialist, David Williams, on 01630 652405 or email David at email@example.com