Unregistered Title and Delays Getting Title Deeds


There are still some rare cases where the title, or ownership, of a property is still ‘unregistered’.

This might be the case for example where the house in question has been in the same family for donkeys’ years. Unlike registered properties, ownership is not guaranteed by the state, so your solicitor must embark on an in-depth trawl through ancient conveyances to prove title.

In actual practice, your solicitor needn’t put on their archaeological hat for too long because the legal requirement is simply to find a good ‘root of title’ of not less than 15 years (which usually means having a ’good root’ back in time).

However, should a dispute arise over the seller’s title, it could drag on for months, or even years, in which case you may be well advised to find another property.

For unregistered properties, the seller’s solicitor will need to obtain the title deeds before they can prepare the draft contract. Traditionally these were held by the seller’s mortgage lender, or where the mortgage had been paid off lodged with a bank or a solicitor or simply stashed under the floorboards.

Normally mortgage lenders could provide these within about a week. But if the deeds have been lost, there could be serious delays whilst the sellers have to prove their title to the property.



Our next blog – coming soon …….

Reasons property deals fall through: Legal problems – continued 


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