This is one of our most frequently asked questions. It is a common misconception nowadays that there are Deeds to a property and that you need these Deeds to sell, mortgage or otherwise dispose of a property. You often watch television programmes or hear of solicitors trawling through dusty old Deeds and so it is understandable why this question is asked so often by our clients.
What are Title Deeds?
Title Deeds show a chain of ownership for land and property and can be in many different forms such as Conveyances, Mortgages, Leases and Assents. These documents are often accompanied by a plan.
The Title contains information connected with the property and will contain information such as:-
- A unique Title Number to identify the land or property.
- The names and addresses of the owners of the property. This is important if the owner is letting out the property so any notices can be sent to a separate address.
- The purchase price paid when the property was last sold.
- Where a property is leasehold, details of the lease.
- Any rights which will benefit the property. An example of these rights would be rights of way, rights of drainage or rights to services.
- Any rights which burden the property. These will be rights over the property or land and an example would be a neighbour having a right of was over the property to access their own property.
- All restrictions and obligations binding the owners of the property which may include restrictions on building, obligations on maintenance or limits on the use of the property. These are all common restrictions.
- Details of any mortgages or charges affecting the property.
The Title will also be attached to a Filed Plan showing the boundaries of the property outlined in red. This is only a guide to the boundaries of any property or land and may not be accurate.
Recently, the Land Registry have provided a system called MapSearch which is a free electronic mapping system for solicitors and conveyances which shows the boundaries of all registered land. This is particularly useful when issues arise concerning boundaries or, when clients have questions involving the ownership and the extent of the neighbour’s land.
Deeds are Important
Despite the fact that most land is now registered, Deeds are still an important part of the conveyancing process and you should keep these safe and available for when you come to sell or remortgage your property.
Do you have any questions concerning the Title to your property? Are you thinking of selling or buying a property? If so, one of our Conveyancing team would be delighted to help.
Please contact us in our Lower Earley or Henley-on-Thames offices.