I am an Associate CILEX and I specialise in conveyancing.
I would confidently say that a swift conclusion is at the heart of all successful conveyancing matters. Delays can result in so many frustrations, causing unwanted confusion and upset among buyers and sellers.
In a society where everything is instantly to hand the property transaction can be seen as a long winded old fashioned process. To ensure there is a prompt conclusion to a matter the Legal Title must be clear and precise for any lawyer to allow the matter to proceed with minimum enquiries raised.
One of the main reasons to register the Title to any property in England and Wales, is to ensure that all deeds and documents are held on a central electronic register and therefore easily accessible.
There can be many issues encountered in dealing with unregistered land, such as first finding where the unregistered Deeds are located. If all the Deeds are not present the lawyer will have the task of locating the missing documents, this can sometimes lead to delays as searching for the Deeds is not a straight forward or simple step. The benefit of the land being registered, as previously stated, is having access to an electronic version, so the lawyer can simply download an electronic version speeding up the process as all the information is instantly available.
We have touched on the point of missing Deeds and this can be extremely problematic. Without the Deeds being available, there could be an issue proving the seller has the legal ownership of the land they are intending to sell (meaning the seller could potentially be unable to sell the property). In this instance an application would need to be made to Land Registry which could result in delay. There is a chance that the application made on your behalf may not be successful and Title Absolute may not be granted.
Title Absolute is the best form of Title you can acquire and most mortgage lenders will require this before they are willing to lend. If you are unable to provide good Title to the property this may result in you obtaining Possessory Title only. This would mean you would have to upgrade the Title to the land in 12 years from the date you possessed the property to obtain Title Absolute. If this is the case you could potentially be left with an un-mortgagable property, therefore limiting the type of buyers who would be eligible to proceed.
Here is a short list of benefits for First Registration:-
- Security – unregistered land is at higher risk of fraud. Fraudsters can assume your identity and attempt to sell, or mortgage, your property without your knowledge. Registering your property helps against fraud, adverse possession or potential squatter's rights.
- Evidence of ownership – this makes it easier to buy and sell a registered property, as it's held on an electronic register which is available to everyone.
- Reduced future costs – there is a 25% reduction in voluntary registrations. Voluntary is when you chose to register the property rather than when you sell or chose to take out a mortgage on the property.
I would strongly advise that as a property owner you should check the status of your deeds to see whether the property is registered or unregistered prior to considering marketing it for sale.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.