What is a title deed?

What is a title deed?

If you’re new to buying or selling property, ‘title deed’ is a word you will hear often. But, what is a title deed?

What is a title deed?

A title deed is a legal document outlying the current and past ownership of a land and \ or building. 

It’s easy to forget what a deed is because you only read this document, which forms part of the sales contract, when purchasing real estate. Thereafter, it’s likely you will never look at the deed again until you sell the property. Admittedly, I speak of myself. 

When selling a property, a solicitor or conveyancer conducts a title search to ensure you legally own the property, and have the right to sell it. 

What is included in the title deed?

  • A list of all past and current owners and the dates of their ownership
  • Past sales prices: This shows the growth or decrease of the property value
  • History of the mortgages taken out to buy the property
  • A map detailing the location and boundary of the land and building 
  • A list of rules and regulations applied to the property: Owning a property does not mean you can do whatever you want it. An example is how council restrictions can prohibit landlords from using a residential property for commercial purposes. 
  • The leasehold history. Read my previous post on whether it is better to buy a freehold or leasehold
  • A list of wills in which this real estate has forms part of the inheritance

Where can I find the deeds?

H.M. Land Registry stores the deed electronically. 

For properties that are mortgaged, the lender keeps the hard copy title deed and a photocopy is given to the owner. Contrarily, the landlord keeps the deed for land and buildings that are not mortgaged. 

H.M. Land Registry can replace lost title deeds for a fee. 

What happens when there is no deed for a land or building?

Properties built before 1980, or have not changed ownership prior to this year, many not be registered with the H.M. Land Registry. This means there is no title deed.

To apply for a deed, register your land or building with the H.M Land registry here. Registration is done once. New owners do not need to re-register newly bought land and buildings.

Having a title deed for your land and property is not a legal obligation. However,as discussed in last week’s post, property fraud is more common than you think. This is when criminals steal the ownership of your land and building using false documentation. 

For peace of mind, it is advisable to register your real estate with H.M Land Registry. The title deed is legal proof of your ownership. 

So, how you encountered any problems with your title deed? 

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