https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/19/title-deeds/

Where are my title deeds, and do I need them?

Title deeds

Before I worked here, I wondered if HM Land Registry was full of clerical staff pushing piles of paperwork around, like a scene from Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’.

I was happy to discover that HM Land Registry is actually very forward-looking and is using digital technology to transform how land registration works.

I think some of our customers may have a similarly false impression though. They are often disappointed to learn that we don’t have their original title deeds, stored in a library of dusty ledgers!

So, what are title deeds, where are they kept, and do you need them?

What are title deeds?

Title deeds are paper documents showing the chain of ownership for land and property. They can include:

  • conveyances;
  • contracts for sale;
  • wills;
  • mortgages; and
  • leases.

Where are my title deeds?

HM Land Registry records are digital, so we don’t store paper title deeds.

Generally, we only have the original title deeds when land or property is registered for the first time, as we need them to prepare the register. We create scanned copies of some deeds and then return all the original title deeds to whoever lodged them. This is usually the solicitor or conveyancer acting on behalf of the buyer.

So, if you’re trying to track down your original deeds, they could be with the solicitor who acted for you when you bought the property, or possibly with your mortgage company, if you have a mortgage.

If the property was already registered when you bought it, the seller may not have handed over the original deeds. There’s no requirement for them to do so. Tracing the original deeds for a property that has been bought and sold many times is likely to be an impossible task.

If you want to see a scanned copy of the deeds that we have on file, start by searching our property information and finding your property’s title number. If the register refers to deeds being filed, we should have copies. You can then get a copy of your deeds.

Do I need my title deeds?

Our Land Register is the definitive record of land and property ownership in England and Wales. So, if your property is registered with us, you don’t need the deeds to confirm your ownership. It’s a good idea to keep the original deeds though, as they can hold extra information, about legal boundaries or who the previous owner was, for example.

If your property isn’t on the register and you choose to apply for first registration, you'll need to submit the original deeds to us. If your deeds have been lost or destroyed, it can make things more complicated, so I’d always recommend keeping them in a safe place.

245 comments

  1. Comment by Donald Gray posted on

    Many lenders won't hold mortgage deeds for residential properties and expect the client or solicitor to hold them so I think your comments about deeds being held by a mortgage company is generally incorrect.

    Also one other reason to hold title deeds is to help to identify who might have the benefit of an easement or a restrictive covenant. I have seen many entries which recite the terms of a transfer or conveyance which refer to "retained land" but there is nothing on the face of the register to tell you where the retained land might be. Sometimes you can do this by obtaining adjoinging titles but you can imagine how expensive and time consuming that can be when there have been many sales such as a residentiasl estate or in an urban area.

    Reply
    • Replies to Donald Gray>

      Comment by Frank Ramsay posted on

      Thanks for your comments, Donald. I agree that it is more likely for the deeds to be held by a solicitor or conveyancer. I mentioned mortgage companies because I wanted to present all the options available to somebody trying to track down their deeds.

      I also agree that if you have your paper deeds, you should keep them to be able to check any additional information. I do state this, but don’t mention every reason for wanting to keep them, as this is a general guide.

      Reply
      • Replies to Frank Ramsay>

        Comment by Zaeem posted on

        That is incorrect. Some lenders may store title deeds.

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        • Replies to Zaeem>

          Comment by Frank Ramsay posted on

          Hello Zaeem, I clearly state in the blog that your title deeds may be "with your mortgage company, if you have a mortgage". I agreed with Donald that it was less likely for them to held by lenders, though. Hope this is clear.

          Reply
      • Replies to Frank Ramsay>

        Comment by Liz Bailey posted on

        Last year we lost a sale because we didn't have a signed copy of our title deeds, we have a copy but for some reason it's not signed. Land registry have no record but have copies of all other relevant deeds. Our mortgage lender didn't have the title deeds or our solicitor at the time of sale didn't either. I have checked with both. When we tried to sell last year our then solicitor offered an indemnity insurance but this was not accepted. How can we right this situation so that we don't have the same problem when we next try to move? Our neighbours all have signed copies. We moved into our house in 1999. It was then a new build.

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        • Replies to Liz Bailey>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Liz - I assume by 'title deeds' you mean a specific deed/document which ahs been lost. If so the only way to right that sistuaiton is to find it or a certified copy. The alternative can be idemnity insurance but that all depends on the view of the buyer/their solicitor as to whther they accept that as being sufficient to negate the risk.

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          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by liz posted on

            Surely if all other documents/deeds are held by land registry, which they are, then should that not be enough evidence that the house is our property. I really can't see what the problem is. Perhaps you could explain it to me.
            I was under the impression that a house could only be bought legally if land registry has all the documents in the first place. So why do you not have a copy of our title deeds when you have everything else?

          • Replies to liz>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Liz - if the property is registered then that confirms the ownership. Clearly whichever deed you are referring to is seen as also being important for your buyer but they/your solicitor will need to explain it for you.
            When the new build was sold and then registered you will have submitted the evidence to support that purchase, namely proof that the seller owned it and that they had transferred it to you. We then create the registered title whcih you and buyers would then rely on. I'm guessing here, as you have not specified what is missing, that a copy of the Transfer between you and the developer is missing and this is the key document the buyers want to see. If that is the case and we don't have a copy then the only options are to try the developer or check your own paperwork to see if you had a copy and you kept it. If a copy can't be found then the indemnity option may be a way forward. But whether the buyer accepts that or not is entirely up to them. Another buyer may be quite happy to proceed with indemnity insurance but veyr much a choice for individual buyers and their solicitor.

    • Replies to Donald Gray>

      Comment by Chris posted on

      Hi sorry if is not directly linked but don’t know how to start my own blog/thread. I am buying a lease hold flat and the deeds or copy that has been sent can not be read ! I have been told that this error is likely to have occurred at the Land Registry. Is this likely be true and if this is correct what can I do without a lease that’s legible ? Will this cause issues moving forward when selling?

      Reply
      • Replies to Chris>

        Comment by AdamH posted on

        Chris - responsibility for the lease rests with the landlord/tenant;freeholder/leaseholder and not with ourselves. When a lease is granted each party has an original and a counterpart, each executed by the other. When a lease is registered we will invariably retain a copy and if we are going back several years then this will have been a copy supplied at the time of registration. The quality can be poor and can deteriorate and this can effect the end product when scanned into our systems as they are now. However that does not escape the basic tenet that it is the landlord/tenant;freeholder/leaseholder who should have a decent original.

        If the lease is illegible and the other party does not have a suitable original or own copy then you may wish to consider having a new lease drawn up to replace it. That would then be registered and the old leased determined and closed down. If a buyer can't read their lease then it may cause issues depending on their legal advice as well as their own view. When you bought for example the same issue will have arisen.

        From our perspective we can't suddenly produce a legible lease if all we have is the illegible copy. If the other party has a decent copy/counterpart then that should be submitted. If not then check with your solicitor as to options and next steps

        Reply
        • Replies to AdamH>

          Comment by Chris posted on

          Adam, first of all thanks for your prompt reply. If I’m right in what you are saying the actual owner of the leases should have a copy in the event that the purchaser has lost their copy or in my case being supplied with one that cannot be read. If the person owning the leases should have a copy then there should be no need to replace a lease. Would indemnity insurance cover an illegible lease ?

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          • Replies to Chris>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Chris - correct. Indemnity insurance is a 'modern' way of dealing with areas of risk but very much one to speak to your conveyancer about. I suspect, but would not know, that all depends on whether the whole thing is illegible or simply part(s)

  2. Comment by Anthony Howarth posted on

    Thank you for this helpful blog, Frank. I feel though that we should not overlook the elephant in the room in that the Land Registry’s scanning process has not been infallible and I would have thought that a substantial proportion of your audience has, at one time or another, been told that the Registry does not have a copy of a document that is referred to as being “filed”.

    In the above circumstances, whilst the Registry is happy to indemnify the registered proprietor , the production of the original deed (or a certified copy) by a disponor or other party is vastly preferable.

    Reply
    • Replies to Anthony Howarth>

      Comment by Frank Ramsay posted on

      Hello Anthony. I agree with you that original deeds (or certified copies) are preferable in this circumstance.

      I would add that if anyone believes that our records are incomplete, they should get in touch and submit their original deeds so that we can make updates or corrections. It's in all of our interests for the Land Register to be as accurate and rich in detail as possible.

      Reply
    • Replies to Anthony Howarth>

      Comment by Laura McConnell posted on

      Totally agree! I have applied for two documents this week, on different properties, which are stated as “copy filed” but then they are no longer available!

      Reply
      • Replies to Laura McConnell>

        Comment by AdamH posted on

        Laura - a register may refer to them as 'copy filed' but once the file is retrieved they may be 'missing'. Unfortunately it can happen but it is very rare. Apologies if that is the case here

        Reply
  3. Comment by Tim Higham posted on

    Deeds have taken on a far greater definition as any buyers lawyer will know, they end up with a bundle at the end of a purchase and almost certainly send them to their client (for storage reasons) and they will be:
    1. Council consents
    2. Guarantees
    3. FENSA and Oil/has/electrical certificates
    4. Covenant/landlord consents
    5. Searches
    6. The original lease
    7. Management information
    8. Share certificates
    9. New built warranties

    Firms who say they hold nothing as all dematerialised are lazy as they should seek that pack.

    Reply
  4. Comment by Sandra N. Rees posted on

    As my husband and I had paid off our mortgage aprox 6 months ago I enquired about having the original deeds returned. I was horrified to be told by a flippant member of staff that Land Registry did not have them. They are a historical document and wanted them returned. Enquired with HSBC (lender) and solicitor but could not advise me at all. I contacted the Western Mail who noted the story.
    I think it is disgusting that we were not advised by either department what was the procedure and I still want our deeds returned !!!!!

    Reply
    • Replies to Sandra N. Rees>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sandra - I'm sorry if we were flippant in our handling of your call. We don't hold original deeds/documents and this blog post explains how they are returned to the applicant after first registration. I can see we have a record of a contact by phone from you in April 2017 and the record includes an email reply also. I'll pick that up and email you again with a bit more specific insight into what, in my experience, may have happened re. any original deeds.

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Anthony Rose posted on

        Hi Adam,
        I have a similar predicament to Sandra, the convayancing solicitor for Santander, my lender, tells me they forwarded all the documentation to my property built in the 1850’s to the Land Regisrty. How do I trace this paperwork?

        Reply
        • Replies to Anthony Rose>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Anthony - you will probably find that their reply is a standard one re their not holding any 'deeds' and that the register is held electronically by us. As the article explains we don't retain the original deeds/documents. Lender's don't send us the original deeds when the mortgage is paid off.
          In the vast majority of cases and where a property has been sold/bought a few times after it has been registered those original deeds are not passed on. If the mortgage was taken out pre-2000 then the lender might have had a copy of the registered title in the form of a charge certificate - sometimes when they say they sent the deeds to us they mean that document. They don;t mean any other deeds/documents I'm afraid

          Reply
    • Replies to Sandra N. Rees>

      Comment by Martin posted on

      I have also just paid off a mortgage, and am trying to locate my deeds.
      I am disgusted that nobody seems to know where they are!
      I am also annoyed that I am expected to pay for a copy of something that essentially now belongs to me and should have been automatically sent to me as soon as I paid off the mortgage

      Reply
      • Replies to Martin>

        Comment by AdamH posted on

        Martin - can you give me your title number please and I'll do my best to shed some light on the issue re the original deeds/documents. As the article explains there is no need for you to hold a copy of the registered title although I appreciate that you may wish to check/confirm the registered details if the lender did not provide you with a copy.

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      • Replies to Martin>

        Comment by LEO SCHUYT posted on

        I agree that they good send a copy,of your title deed.When you paid out your mortgage.

        Reply
        • Replies to LEO SCHUYT>

          Comment by ianflowers posted on

          Leo - we note your feedback, but as mentioned there is no need for the owner to hold a paper copy of the title register/plan that we hold in electronic form. It's also a matter between the lender and borrower as to whether a copy of the title documents are provided when the mortgage is paid off.

          Reply
    • Replies to Sandra N. Rees>

      Comment by diane posted on

      I am sorry but I suspect your deeds have been destroyed by your mortgage lender. Our mortgage lender finally admitted that they destroyed the deeds to our property. They were informed by the land registry that the paper deeds were no longer needed and that they could do with them what they wanted, so they destroyed them. No body likes to admit to you that this has happened because they know that they were wrong about what they have done. I don't know how they can get away with it. I was told it was a business decision, people making these sort of decisions looking after our money - nice.

      Reply
  5. Comment by Jim Kendall posted on

    I have become very aware of how efficient the Land Registry is or was. 21 years ago I purchased my house and the front garden & driveway outside the building were added to my plot, from the original plans. Now I have found that this extra land has been placed on-top of my house and my next door neighbour still owns all the land up to my front windows. Surely someone at the L.R. must have noticed you cannot put a garden & driveway on-top of a two story house?

    Reply
  6. Comment by Mike posted on

    A really insightful overview of some of Land Registry's purpose and practices there, dispelling some previously held perceptions too. Trying to hunt down title deeds and being unsure of who may have them in the past is exactly why it is so vital to have, and maintain, the register.

    Reply
  7. Comment by Janice posted on

    I have just bought a house only to be told by solicitor that nobody knows where the original deeds for the property are located, as the property was built in 1892 I am sure that the original deeds would hold a lot of information regarding my property some of which I might need to know but will now never find out

    Reply
    • Replies to Janice>

      Comment by Tina posted on

      Hi
      I’m trying to locate more recent deed not the original, but my solicitor says they destroy them after 7years.

      When you go to Solictor and both you and your partner sign them do you receive a copy? As on original deed only my husband name on it.

      Reply
  8. Comment by John posted on

    I purchased a house 5 years ago without title deeds, but was offered an indemnity policy to set up the means for compensation should someone with a superior title ever show up, which I was told was virtually a Zero chance scenario. The property is registered with the Land registry in my name, so theoretically the missing deeds should not be an issue. However, when speaking to a potential mortgage provider today over a new deal, I was told "we steer clear of any property where there may be any chance at all of a risk to our security". My question is, am i left with a house that I cant sell in the future, if mortgage providers are this concerned ?

    Reply
    • Replies to John>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      John - if a buyer's mortgage lender won't secure against that risk then yes but not all buyers/lenders will take that view in my experience. Lenders will vary considerably re such matters not only re a Yes/No but in their reasons for either decision so in my experience I would not say you are left with a house you cannot sell.

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by John posted on

        Thanks Adam. Its obviously a concern for me as it changes the playing field a bit when we come to moving on. I may be unduly worried, but I'm going to seek some professional legal conveyancing advice on where I stand / what the implications are for the future. I went into the purchase with sound legal advice, but I think its time to revisit the situation. Much appreciated.

        Reply
        • Replies to John>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          John - understood and very much the right thing to do. All I can usefully add is that a 'possessory title is not unusual and very commonplace.

          Reply
  9. Comment by Gillian posted on

    Hi hoping you can help with my inquiry. I paid off my mortgage on February 10th and was told I would receive paper work in 10 - 14 days, after many phone calls 17 days later and still no paper work I am now told the mortgage was discharged on the 26th and the Land Registry have been informed. My question is will I actually get any paper work from the Land Registry to make it official? If so how long should it take? I do have a bundle of old documents which I believe includes the original deeds. Thank you Gillian.

    Reply
    • Replies to Gillian>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Gillian - most lenders remove their mortgage electronically and they receive a confirmaiton from us what that has happened. We do not routinely notify the actual owner/borrower. If you wish to check/confirm the current registered details then you can do that online using the link in the blog article itself

      Reply
  10. Comment by Bill posted on

    Hi
    For some one to make a claim on a property that has been devided in percentage, are they required to produce the original? As they only have a photocopy of the document

    Reply
    • Replies to Bill>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Bill - if they are looking to claim a % of the beneficial ownership then that is something to get legal advice on. Such a claim would in my experience be a matter of law and not a registration issue

      Reply
  11. Comment by Neil Hartley posted on

    Hi,
    We're in the process of buying a house and our solicitor has said that "when the property was first registered at the Land Registry details of easements and restrictions were not provided to the Land Registry and the seller has no information at all about this or the previous deeds other than a photocopy of a 1968 deed when the land was first conveyed".
    An indemnification policy was suggested to protect us but my concern is that we will have an issue selling the property later (possibly to someone needing a mortgage per the comment from John above). Our solicitor initially suggested the policy would be a good solution but then suggested we may be creating a problem for the future. Do you have any advice for us?

    Reply
    • Replies to Neil Hartley>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Neil - I'm afraid we can't really offer any additional guidance here and you should rely on your solicitor. I suspect the issue they are referring to relates to what is known as a 'protective entry' on the register that states that the title is subject to any easements/covenants which may have existed prior to the 1968 deed but we do not know if any exist or not. This entry can appear where deeds have bene lost or are not produced so it is there to protect against someone coming forward with an old deed that affects
      In my experience in the past such entries posed few problems for buyers/lenders but the perception of risks has changed over the years and it is quite common for indemnity policies to be sought to insure against those risks. I'm not aware that having such a policy then poses a different or wider risk but your solicitor/lender may be able to explain why they think that may be the case. After all the entry and any perceived risk will still be there, indemnity policy or not.

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Neil Hartley posted on

        Thanks for your input Adam...

        Reply
        • Replies to Neil Hartley>

          Comment by John posted on

          Hi Neil,

          Just to add a bit more of my own story for you, I have since provided all my documents to the new mortgage provider (we are moving from one bank to another) and they were satisfied that the Title absolute in my name and the indemnity policy was satisfactory to approve the mortgage. I have also checked with a property solicitor who commented that the paper deeds are largely only to confirm restrictive covenants or access. He also said, "once you have Title Absolute, stop worrying." In my case, the property was only built 7 years ago on a piece of land that never had a house on it before, so the odds of someone turning up with a superior claim are virtually nil.

          Reply
  12. Comment by Jason posted on

    Hi, My mother is selling her house but has lost the deeds. I have downloaded a document via the land registry site that gives a title number and names my mother as the registered owner...so I think this means that land registry holds digital copies of the deeds and she needn't worry about the sale of her house. Her solicitor has said nothing can be done without the deeds to her house so will have to apply for them from the land registry which could delay the sale by 4/5 weeks. I'm confused...can you help explain what the position is please?

    Reply
    • Replies to Jason>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jason - as the article explains if the property is registered then the deeds are not needed to prove her ownership. I'd check back with the solicitor for clarification as to why a delay

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Alison posted on

        My father can’t sell his house either the same way as the person above solicitor says we can’t sell until the Title and Deeds are corrected. My dad paid on his house and come to find out he bought my step moms share out but did not know that the deeds and title are in his deaceased mother and father in laws name he paid the mortgage by himself for 30 years now he can’t sell his house at all.

        Reply
        • Replies to Alison>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Alison - I'm not sure there is anything I can usefully add here other than confirm that it's legal advice you need to unravel what has happened re the legal and beneficial ownerships

          Reply
  13. Comment by Troy posted on

    I am pretty disgusted at what I am reading here and am no clearer on the position than before I started reading. In 2016 we paid off our mortgage in full; such a relief. Cheltenham and Gloucester plc were asked to provide the title deeds to me and a delayed standard letter in the form of a flippant dismissal referred me to Land Registry. I paid the appropriate fees for "electronic copies of ownership, map" etc......but I still want the original paper deeds and have found both the lender and HMLR to be assumptive and unhelpful. C&G are now deceased and trying to find the right contact point at Lloyds Bank has been HELL. Somewhere in England the title deeds, rightfully belonging to me and my wife, are in a bundle gathering dust. I want the original documents and no one seems to want to help. Thinking of taking this to my MP and the press

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    • Replies to Troy>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Troy - I am sorry for the difficulties you have experienced and that you feel we were unhelpful. As mentioned in the blog, it is the case that we return the original documents to the person who lodged them when a property is registered for the first time - usually to the solicitor acting. We should be able to confirm this and provide any other information that may be relevant from our files.

      The usual practice where a property was subject to a mortgage was for the solicitors to pass the deeds onto the lender, but we have no control or involvement in this and therefore we cannot confirm whether this happened in a particular case. Many lenders converted their records to electronic format in recent times and their approach in dealing with original paper title deeds varied. Again, this is something that we are not involved with and you would need to continue to take this up with the lender involved and follow their complaints process if you remain unhappy.

      Reply
    • Replies to Troy>

      Comment by diane posted on

      After kicking up a stink and writing an email complaining to Lloyds I finally got a phone call from Lloyds and they admitted that our deeds had in fact been destroyed. They Land Registry advised them that the deeds were no longer needed after being electronically stored so Lloyds Bank in their infinite wisdom destroyed them. I am angry that we were treated this way, that we were not informed. I am more angry and disgusted that they are not admitting to other people what they have done. I don't understand why they thought it was acceptable to do this and to basically cover it up like they are doing is just wrong.

      Reply
      • Replies to diane>

        Comment by AdamH posted on

        Diane - I don;t recall that we advised lenders that 'the deeds were no longer needed'. As the article explains we discontinued issuing Land/Charge Certificates which were a copy of what we held on record/electronically. The term 'deeds' can be used in a variety of contexts but often lenders would hold older deeds as well but not always depending on what the borrower had at the time
        Note - when you add a comment to a blog there is an approval process before it is made public. I have approved two of your comments but not the third which was largely a duplicate of this one

        Reply
  14. Comment by Rachael posted on

    I have found the deeds to a property I no longer own. What on earth should I do with them?

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    • Replies to Rachael>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Rachael - I would suggest writing to the 'Owner' at the address to see if they would like them for example

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Rachael posted on

        Thanks Adam. That's a good idea, I'll try that.

        Reply
  15. Comment by S Scott posted on

    Can you please tell me which document I need to purchase from the Land Registry that would give me the details of any covenants relating to a freehold property.

    Reply
  16. Comment by Augur Pearce posted on

    A conveyance can easily impose a trust, and since the Register will never give details of that trust there are times when it is not simply 'a good idea' but essential to retain the deeds. Example: A gives Whiteacre to T (a trust corporation) for certain charitable purposes. Later T sells Whiteacre to B using the proceeds to buy Blueacre. If T now only holds register entries for Blueacre these may contain a charity restriction but won't indicate the purposes for which it is held. To ascertain those, one will need to refer to the Whiteacre conveyance.

    Reply
  17. Comment by Deborah Pottage posted on

    Don't no if I'm on right post
    I need a copy of the deeds of a property I no longer own but for when I did own it how do I get this

    Reply
  18. Comment by meg posted on

    Just paid our mortgage a week ago, and lender told us to order a copy of the tittle deeds from land registry. Can you please direct me on what to do or what application form do i need to fill up and payment if possible. Thank you

    Reply
  19. Comment by Clare posted on

    We have a certificate of lawfulness - how do we go about our next steps to gain deeds to the property or to get a loan against the property or anything similar for the future please ?

    Reply
    • Replies to Clare>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Clare - the term 'certificate of lawfulness; is not one that I have come across before. In England and Wales loegal owernship is proven by either possession of the deeds/documents inc a legal deed in your favour with unregistered land or a registered title confirming your ownership. It is that evidence that allows you to use the land/property as security for a loan for example

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by James F posted on

        "Certificate of Lawfulness' is a term relating to the planning system - try searching for 'Planning Portal' at http://www.gov.uk for more info.

        Reply
  20. Comment by AH posted on

    Are there any way that I can find out where in the prosess of registration we are? Property (new build) was purchased and completed mid November 2017. The address is 6 Widvale Road,Mountnessing, CM15 0FF. Thank you

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    • Replies to AH>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      AH - I believe that one is Plot 24 on the development and the application was submitted on 23 January. The current average timescale for this type of application is around 66 working days so we still have a few weeks to go before I suspect it will be considered. If ther eis an urgency involved then I would recommend speaking to your solicitor and ask them to get in touch - they will know the process for doing so and the circumstances where we might be able to expedite the process

      Reply
  21. Comment by LeslieM posted on

    My elderly mother lives in a leasehold flat in Bushey, Herts. In order to query some actions of the managing agents, I am trying to obtain a copy of her lease, as she does not appear to have one in her files and the solicitors who acted for my parents' purchase in 2006 say that they do not keep copies of documents that long. Will the Land Registry have a copy of the lease and if so how do I go about requesting one? I have the property's title number.

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    • Replies to LeslieM>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      LeslieM - we may have a copy and I'd suggest checking the register first for the details. If the lease is refererd to and available then you can apply for a copy by post https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by LeslieM posted on

        Adam thanks for your reply. There's no specific mention of a lease in the deeds. Can I use form OC2 to ask for "the lease" or do I need to provide additional information?

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        • Replies to LeslieM>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          LeslieM - form OC2 is used to apply for a copy of the lease and you will need to confirm that it is a lease and it's date and title number as part of the form in panel 7. If you don't know the date/title number then you should check the register first

          Reply
  22. Comment by Laura McConnell posted on

    I disagree - a number of times I have telephoned the Land Registry before submitting first registration documents to be returned and I have always been advised that after the documents have been scanned they are destroyed & that I should request, when submitting the FR1, they are returned once they had been scanned. I think only once have original documents been returned!!

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    • Replies to Laura McConnell>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Laura - I am sorry if you have had a different experience re lodgement of your first registration application(s). Any original statutory declarations, statements of truth, subsisting leases, subsisting charges, certificates relating to Stamp Duty Land Tax or Land Transaction Tax and the latest document of title (such as the transfer to the applicant) will be retained, scanned and then destroyed. Apart from this, we will return the pre-registration deeds after registration.

      Reply
  23. Comment by Helen Aitken posted on

    I purchased a property in oct 2016, on checking the shaded ares on my deeds it looks like I have an a joining field, but neighbour said last owners gave it to her?, how can I check if this is true, surely there must be paperwork to prove this...do I consult solicitors or who

    Reply
  24. Comment by Pat posted on

    Was going to get my original deeds out of storage and keep them at home as I thought we would always be able to get copies if ours were destroyed. Now after reading the above comments I am not so sure this would be a good idea. Also if I do obtain my deeds should I check that the registry has copies of them?

    Reply
    • Replies to Pat>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Pat - It really depends on whether your property is registered with us as referred to in the blog - if it is you can check to see if we hold copies of any of the deeds but it is likely that most will have been returned when the property was first registered. Also, whether your are satisfied that the current storage is secure. That something you'd need to consider, but you may want to get some independent advice on this, for example, from Citizen's Advice.

      Reply
  25. Comment by Christine posted on

    We bought a property a year ago but didn't receive title deeds - although our solicitor forwarded a bundle of documents from when building work was done 20 years ago or so. Now the fence on one side of the garden has blown down and we don't know who is responsible to fix it - would this be in the deeds and is it worth me paying to see if any title deeds exist?
    If I can't get the deeds how do we resolve the fence problem?

    Reply
    • Replies to Christine>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Christine - If there are any additional deeds, they would normally have been returned by us after the property was first registered. You could check the title register and any copy documents referred to as filed as there is sometimes reference to the ownership/maintenance of boundary structures. But if found, these are usually only useful as a guide and our blog sets out the background to this - https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/27/drawing-the-line-on-boundaries/ .

      Often there is no information available and then it comes down to neighbours agreeing a way forward.

      Reply
  26. Comment by Liam posted on

    As a person living in N Ireland you may not be able to answer this query for me. I purchased my house back in 1991 via a mortgage, can you tell me if it would have been registered with the relevant body's via my solicitor, it was originally built in 1915? I have the original deeds at home as I'm now mortgage free.

    Reply
  27. Comment by Sam Miller posted on

    We bought a house in May 2017, the vendor moved to America before it was completed. The house sale went through but our solicitors have been unable to transfer the title to ourselves as the proper paperwork was not sent from America by the vendors in an English Law format. Our solicitors are now having problems contacting the vendors and HM Land Registry say we cannot have the title transferred into our name until they sign the relevant paperwork to be sent to HM Land Registry. We are still not the legal owners of the property over twelve months later and now we want to sell the property and move and we are unable to do so. We keep hitting a dead end. Can our solicitors apply to court to get an order to have the title transferred or will we have to wait until the vendors get the right paperwork sent from America.

    Reply
    • Replies to Sam Miller>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sam - if a court ordered it to be transferred and a judge then signed the Transfer deed then it is possible yes. But in my experience that is very rare but your solicitor will have far more experience of how necessary such an approach would be here. You would have to convince a judge that you had done everything possible and that there was absolutely no chance of it being sorted by your seller and if I have read your comment correctly that is not yet the case. But as I say your solicitor will have more experience of this as we see the end result rather than what takes place to achieve that result.

      Reply
  28. Comment by Hugh Buckeridge posted on

    I bought a converted barn in 2014 and in 2015 I became aware of easements affecting my property which the sellers were also not aware about when they bought the land from the farmer in 2004.
    If this document was on my neighbours deeds (he purchased in 2010 from the previous owner who purchased the farmhouse in 2002)why is it not on my file if it relates to my property.
    If the conveyancing solicitor for the farmer forgot in 2002 to send this document to the land registry how is it then "forgotten" in 2004 when he sold the land to the gentleman before me.
    It seems no one is responsible for my legal problems for the last two years.
    In addition in 2015 when my neighbour applied to the land registry to add the easements to my purchase deeds the land registry altered my documents even though I had written a long reply disagreeing with each of the three easements within the 21 days allocated for a reply.

    Reply
    • Replies to Hugh Buckeridge>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Hugh - it reads as if the issue has been raised with us already so it would be wrong to try and consider it here as this is a blog rather than a forum. If there are issues with how we have registered the titles involved and/or made changes then I would recommend you pursue those through the specific contact channel already used and/or seek legal advice

      Reply
  29. Comment by Li posted on

    Hi. My Gran is a widow and have passed away last year. I searched online and she left no will. Her property was co-owned with one of her son (my uncle) who we don't get on with. I got a copy of the latest register extract to show that my uncle is the only registered owner. Without going through the solicitors, how do I find out how the full ownership was transfer to my uncle. If I request a deed for the property, will it show this information?

    Reply
  30. Comment by LJK posted on

    I am selling my late fathers property. Must I surrender the title deeds upon completion or can I keep them as a memento. Would they be available to the purchaser online?

    Reply
    • Replies to LJK>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      LJK - entirely a matter between you and the buyer. Once a property is registered the proof of ownership is held by us in the form of an electronic register and title plan

      Reply
  31. Comment by david dearn posted on

    My Aunt passed away recently and left me her house in her will i am trying to put it up for sale but my estate agent says that they cannot sell the house without the deeds to prove her ownership, My aunt lived in her house since shortly after the second world war and it was her parents home before that. I have tried the land registry entering the postal code and house number but they hold no records so what can i do?

    Reply
  32. Comment by Gary posted on

    Hi,

    Apologies if this is the incorrect portal but I was wondering; if you could help us with some info. We’re trying to determine the remaining length of the leasehold on a property and if a share of the freehold is included. I did look at the Summary of title with HM Land Registry but those details are not included. How can we obtain this info?

    Many thanks!

    Reply
    • Replies to Gary>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Gary- the leasehold register should confirm the date of the lease and the term. It is usually then possible to calculate what length of term is then left. If you used the Find Property Information service then that would not have given you the full register download so you may wish to obtain that to confirm.
      You would need to check the freehold register and named owners to see if the leaseholders were also joint freeholders

      Reply
  33. Comment by Andrew H posted on

    Wonder if anyone can help. As a residents management company we hold paper documents confirming owners will abide by the covenants of the close. My question is do we have to retain these documents and other general conveyancing papers after completion particularly in light of GDPR changes in May?

    Reply
    • Replies to Andrew H>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Andrew H - I'm afraid we can't advise you on what you should do here as these are matters/documents between you and the owners. I would suggest you seek legal advice as to the need for retention or otherwise as well as the impact of GDPR.

      Reply
  34. Comment by JeanR posted on

    Can you help? We purchased land next to our property in 1978. The bank kept the deeds, but have now lost them. A land search says the land was never registered. Obviously I would like the deeds. Any suggestion as to what I can do?

    Reply
    • Replies to JeanR>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      JeanR - If as you say the land is not registered we wouldn't hold any information on the location of the deeds. If you have not already done so, it might be worth re-checking with the bank to ensure they have conducted a thorough search. As to registration of the land, whether now or in the future, without any of the deeds this will be quite an involved process and most people would consult a legal professional, such as a solicitor, to act on their behalf. The loss of deeds may also impact on whether 'full' legal title can be given, but a solicitor will be able to advise you further on this.

      Reply
  35. Comment by JeanR posted on

    Thank you for your reply. I have been searching through all our documents, trying to find something that may help and came across this: New Registration Certificate No: LC/209113/81. Are these land search numbers? I would like to do a second search of my own but am not sure how to go about it.

    Reply
  36. Comment by IFC posted on

    Hi ian, im in the process of buying a house. It's probate. They seem to be selling it 'limited title guarantee', theres no relatives so im not getting a Property Information Form and now the solicitor tells me that although the house is registered in the deceased's name (theres a title plan and title register available) there is no 'electronic deed' available from land registry. How can this be if theres a title register? It must have been summarised from something originally? The solicitor representing the executor of the will doesn't seem to have a deed either. Can I still even buy the house and if so could this cause me a problem if someone turns up with the paper deed later? Could any of this cause me problems when I come to sell? thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to IFC>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      IFC - Hi. As to the limited title guarantee, this is common practice where the seller, in this case the Executor, has no personal knowledge of the property. You'd need to consult further with the solicitor who will able to advise you of the full legal implications of this.

      If the property registered, the electronic title record is in effect the title register and title plan. Sometimes a property will be registered but no paper title deed(s), such as old conveyances, are available. So again, you'd need to discuss this further with the solicitor who will be able to check the title register and plan as part of standard conveyancing process and advise you before you proceed.

      Reply
  37. Comment by JeanR posted on

    I just read something interesting:

    If you have land but no deeds, then you should submit an application to register it at the Land Registry. You will need to make a declaration as to how you come to own the land and for how long, including ownership and use prior to you...

    Is this true? And if so where would I submit it? I've checked the registry sites but can't find the appropriate place. Please help, I'm going nuts here.

    Thank you in anticipation

    Reply
  38. Comment by IFC posted on

    Also... the house is registered to the deceased as an 'absolute title' freehold. If theres no copy of the actual original deed am i likely to get it registered as absolute title for me when i buy it or would i have to make do with a possessory title?

    Reply
    • Replies to IFC>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      IFC - following on from my earlier reply, if the property is registered, the title register will give the class of title and that would be what you are buying.

      Reply
  39. Comment by StewartF posted on

    I'm a bit confused about how sloppy the holding of the deeds to a property are, the deeds are the documents to the ownership of the property, if you pay all that money for a property and are not given the deeds how can you legally own it? the deeds are proof of ownership, in my case i have a copy of the deeds, in theory someone could turn up one day and say that this is their property by showing the original deeds, i also received an official copy of register of title from land registry, why did i receive a copy? i own the property, i should hold the original as well as the original deeds which the solicitors have certified are a copy of the original, a very poor quality copy. On the bottom of the copy of the deeds it has a warning against altering, adding to or otherwise tampering with, to take a copy of it could be classed as tampering with the original, this would then be a breach of the deeds. You are going to tell me that it is registered in my name, if someone was to challenge that in a court with the original deeds saying they had been living in another country for the last 20 years and come home to their house and found me living in it i would be looking to you at the land registry for answers and you would tell me?

    Reply
    • Replies to StewartF>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Stewart - I am sorry you have been left a bit confused. As mentioned in the blog, our title records are digital. The electronic title record is the definitive record of ownership and whether the conveyancing 'deeds' held are originals or certified copies, they are not needed to confirm ownership.

      If an interested party needs to inspect the title then they need to apply to us for a copy of the electronic record. The 'official copy' is admissible (for example, in court) to the same extent as the original, i.e. the electronic record held by us.

      The most important benefit of registration is the state backed guarantee of title which provides for compensation to be paid to an innocent person who suffers a financial loss because of a mistake in the register (for example, a mistake due to fraud).

      If you are a registered owner with absolute title and in physical possession of the property, you are in a very secure position. That said, we essentially have an administrative role in registering ownership and other interests in land and so if any dispute did arise, you would need to consider seeking independent legal advice if you were unsure as to the way forward.

      Reply
      • Replies to ianflowers>

        Comment by IFC posted on

        Many thanks for your reply. So if the house is registered 'title absolute' to the deceased then it should be registered 'title absolute' to me when I purchase even if there's no deed? My solicitor seems to think the 'electronic record' of the deed is something different to the title register and title plan?
        Thanks for your time IFC

        Reply
        • Replies to IFC>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          IFC - the land register is held by us electronically so the 'electronic record' and register/title plan would be one and the same

          Reply
          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by IFC posted on

            Thanks Adam! So if I’ve seen the title register and title plan for the house (I downloaded it from your website) but my solicitor says there’s no electronic deed. Any idea what this might mean? I’ve asked for clarification but I received the same answer. Does the mortgager usually accept registration as guarantee in the absence of a deed? Thanks

          • Replies to IFC>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            IFC - I can only speculate and supect they may be referring to a deed mentioned on the register as 'filed'. If there is such a deed or deeds then these are only available by post. They would know that though and have applied for copies as appropriate.

  40. Comment by Kieron Connolly posted on

    Hello

    I have someone named in the short particulars of the lease on my deeds and want to try and contact them to discuss freehold purchase. Is there any way of seeing more details such as an address to contact them on?

    Reply
  41. Comment by Concerned seller posted on

    Hi need help please!

    solicitor sent the following from Land Registry confirming discharge will happen .. but the Land Registry says there been a delay to the below:

    Application Type: Dealing
    Customer Reference: DISCHARGE_APPN
    Application Received By: None Recorded
    Application Progress: Delayed, Prior Pending Application(s) or Official Search(es)

    What does this mean?

    Reply
  42. Comment by Claire posted on

    Hi. Looking for advice. I'm looking to remortgage a property and add my wife. Mortgage company will require her name adding to deeds also. Is this something I can do via form filling and fee paying or do I need a solicitor to do it?
    Thanks

    Reply
  43. Comment by Nick Wilkinson posted on

    Hi, I received deeds from the mortgage company when I paid it off. The deeds show a charge still against the mortgage company. I have been on line and got a copy of the title showing them no longer on it, but this document says it’s not official document. Where do I get the official version that shows my absolute title, or do I send the original back to you to update? Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Nick Wilkinson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Nick - the online register will be the up to date detail. It's not an ;official copy' which is what you would need for say a court or similar authority to prove ownership. You don't need an official copy to confirm what is registered as the online download does that for you.
      I suspect they have sent you the Charge Certificate - if so then simply keep that if you wish to. We no longer issue these so it has no legal value now.

      Reply
  44. Comment by paul posted on

    hi, we are currently trying to sell a house that has 3 random names dated 22 years ago in leases for the land, it mentions restricted covenants & over riding interests, apparently no solicitor or the land registry has any copys of the leases, yet it clearly states that this is a freehold property meaning we own the building and the land its on, is it possible that these names on the leases arent anything to do with our property and could be anything on the housing estate that the developer built the houses on? it was built in 1999, the buyers solicitor wants these names removing so its proving quite a task..

    Reply
    • Replies to paul>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Paul - impossible to answer other than if they are registered one assumes that they affect the property until proven otherwise. If you can't track the people down or the leases then it will be quite a task

      Reply
  45. Comment by Neil Croft posted on

    Firstly let me say I find the Land Registry blogs far more usable than the help pages for a "normal" person like me trying to avoid the expense of the legal profession to manage a fairly simple, small estate.

    I am about to send off the documents to transfer my late uncle's house to myself and first register it, and finally received the "deeds" from Santander today. Going through the vast bundle of guff they've sent me, do I really need to send everything and list it all on form DL or do I just need the conveyances and assents which show the effective creation of the individual property (it was originally the corner of a field) and its transaction history along with the searches I've done and probate?

    Reply
    • Replies to Neil Croft>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Neil - its rare that we need everything but what you do send does need to be listed on form DL. Practice Guide 1 section 4.4.4 seeks to explain what is required, and does steer you to submitting everything, but as you will appreciate it can't be specific as every case differs. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/first-registrations
      The 'guff' can be relevant to the title to be created so we err on the side of all being submitted as a result. Are there specific documents that you perhaps see as being 'guff'? That may help to identify why they are actually important and needed

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Neil Croft posted on

        The guide was helpful (I'd included a grant of probate but not a copy of the will!). The "guff" is primarily old land charge searches, which I presume are superseded, old mortgage documents now cleared, and original planning consents for the erection of the original bungalow.

        Reply
        • Replies to Neil Croft>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Neil - you'll need an up to date Land Charges search so anything 'cleared' is most likely not needed as we would be looking at the most recent result. We would not need planning details as we are looking at the land ownership and how that has changed, been burdened etc. The planning process is quite separate so such items won;t be needed by us when we examine the title

          Reply
          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Neil Croft posted on

            Excellent! Thanks for the help. It’ll be in the post Tuesday.

  46. Comment by Stuart posted on

    I am trying to trace the ownership trail of a property, what is the best approach?

    Reply
    • Replies to Stuart>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Stuart - there is no one best or ideal approach, but there are some options open to you which may help in completing an ownership trail. As compulsory registration in many areas was not introduced until the 1980s/90s, previous/historical editions of the register may be of limited use if you are looking to follow a trail through many years. Please see our guidance 'Get historical registers' at https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/search-the-register .

      There may also be entries in the current edition of the register relating to older conveyancing deeds or there may be a copy of one or more deeds filed with us which may give some information as to historical owners. A document such as a transfer from the developer to the first house owner will obviously give definitive information as to ownership and the age of the house. Our blog 'How old is your house' - https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2018/01/26/how-old-is-my-house/ may also be of interest.

      This blog also sets out some other options for trying to locate historical 'title deeds' which may assist in completing such as trail.

      Reply
  47. Comment by Bert posted on

    My neighbours are trying to suggest that they were given a small area of one of my fields by the previous owner of my house and land (over 24yrs ago!). The deeds and land registry show very clearly that the land is within my boundary. I have received a letter from neighbours solicitor stating it is their land, and they can prove it.... Am I right in assuming that since the whole field is within my boundary that they have no claim on it and that even if they were able to come up with some old paperwork suggesting that they were given it by the previous owner (deceased), the land continues to be mine?

    Reply
    • Replies to Bert>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Bert - you need legal advice here as to what your rights, and their's, might be. If they are looking to claim the land for whatever reason then it is that reason you need more details and legal advice on. We would only be involved as and when an application to register was made. If the claim was seen to be initially valid and the land is registered we would then write to you at the contact details on your register to seek your view - hence the need to get legal advice

      Reply
  48. Comment by S Crean posted on

    Hi,

    I have been notified that on the copy of register of title on section b, I am listed as title good leasehold but to remortgage I need this title to be absolute. I’ve lived in the property for 25 years , the original deeds were destroyed in the war. However, further deeds in paper were recreated in 1960 using prints reproduced from film of the original deeds. I have those deeds and all paperwork since. Is this enough to get the title upgraded to absolute?

    Reply
  49. Comment by S Crean posted on

    The original deeds date back to 1935.

    Reply
  50. Comment by Adam posted on

    After payment, how long does it take to receive a copy of the title register? I am switching mortgage provider and there is a field for the title number. Is it important that I provide this?

    Reply
    • Replies to Adam>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Adam - if online then immediate and if by post then a few days. You will need it

      Reply
  51. Comment by Karen posted on

    We've just paid off our mortgage. We have the very long and formal old paper deeds to our house (which is late Victorian) but nothing with our name on it. I've paid to download the very basic information online which shows just our names against the property and no reference to a mortgage, but feel like I ought to have something more "formal" for when we eventually sell the property or if we need to prove sole ownership.
    Is it advisable to pay for that now or wait until we sell?
    And if I should do it now, is it form OC1 or OC2 that I need? (Unlike this page, the advice on the web pages with those forms isn't clear for someone like me who simply wants the paperwork with their name on it as owner(s) of their property.)

    Reply
    • Replies to Karen>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Karen - the title register (which I presume it what you've downloaded) has always constituted the proof of title/ownership. The only difference now is that it is held in electronic format and is available for inspection and download electronically.

      There should not be any need to obtain official copies of your title documents at this stage. The normal process on a property sale is for the buyer's solicitor to do this along with the other enquiries they make on behalf of their client.

      I am sorry you found our guidance on the GOV.UK pages unclear as to how to obtain official copies - we will take this on board. If you do decide to this, you will need to apply by post - OC1 is to apply for a copy of the register and/or title plan and OC2 is for a copy of a deed that is referred to as 'filed' in the title register and also for any deeds that we may hold but which are not referred to in the title register. Further details and links to the forms are available here: https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/search-the-register .

      Finally, as mentioned in the blog, although the paper titles deeds you hold are not needed to prove ownership, it is a good idea to hold on to them.

      Reply
  52. Comment by Ann T posted on

    My husband and i are divorcing and his name is on the deeds/mortgage to our home (due to me having no credit rating), but i have lived there with him for the 18 years we have had the house. We will be splitting our assets and would it be worth my while to try and get my name on the Land Registry before we sell the house ??

    Reply
    • Replies to Ann T>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Ann T - that is not something we can advise upon so very much something to discuss with your solicitor as to the best way to proceed. Your interest is presumably in the sale monies so it can be a question of ensuring that your share in those is protected as the Transfer would be by him as the registered owner.

      Reply
  53. Comment by Aileen posted on

    Hi
    I'm wondering can anyone shed light on my situation. I changed mortgage providers in 2006 and I received all deeds & documents to my home so I have them in my possession. I have still a hefty mortgage on this property. The new provider wrote to me 2016 requesting these documents but I have kept them. Does this turn the mortgage into an unsecured loan?

    Reply
    • Replies to Aileen>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Aileen - from a registration perspective only a secured loan is one registered against the land title, which we register, or protected through the Land Charges department if the property is unregistered. With unregistered properties a lender will often retain the deeds as 'security'.

      Reply
  54. Comment by Liz Pearce posted on

    We are in the process of selling our house but our buyers have a problem with their title on the sale of their own house, hence stalling everything. They bought their property in 1979 but it appears their solicitor at the time didn't ensure a previous Equitable Charge dated 1969 was discharged. The people holding the charge are a dissolved company & everything has been referred to The Crown, Bona Vacatia dept to try & remove this charge.
    No paperwork can be found.
    If the Company that was or any of the Solicitors involved or if indeed the Land Registry somehow didn't register the form 53 back in the day to release the charge, is the only option available that is left, is to get The Crown to vacate the Charge?
    Thanks Liz

    Reply
    • Replies to Liz Pearce>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Liz - The normal course would be for the Bona Vacatia dept to produce the necessary evidence / release but other courses of action may be considered depending on the individual circumstances of the case. It's really something for the solicitors acting to resolve with the parties involved and for them to contact us to try and resolve any difficulties.

      Reply
  55. Comment by Louise posted on

    Hi,

    My online estate agent has recently requested that I provide a copy of my land registry title so that they are compliant with HMRC requirements.

    I was hesitant to provide this information as I thought it was a confidential document but they advised they would remove my property from the market if I did not provide this. I had a copy of the official title in my cabinet therefore they took a copy of this. Afterwards I began to panic that I have opened myself up to some kind of property fraud as they already have a copy of my driving licence and utility bill. Can anyone access this official document, am I worrying for nothing?

    Louise

    Reply
    • Replies to Louise>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Louise - the land register has been open since 1990 so anyone can obtain the same details direct from us. As such you have not shared anything which is confidential it seems

      Reply
  56. Comment by Jim posted on

    Hi, I have some large conifers beyond my garden beyond the communial footpath and two fences, there is a waterway Just the other side of them, I am trying to verify ownership of these trees as I believe they pose a threat to my house I have contacted the council in the past and struggled to get clarification a relative advised me to look at the deeds but I only have the title not the map, I have now obtained from your site according to the red on it the trees are within the perimeter, is there some sort of document I can obtain with written evidence of the trees and water way and any potential documentation, I don’t appear to have the original deeds which may or may not have contained them?

    Reply
    • Replies to Jim>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jim - the title plan will show the registered general boundaries. If you are unsure as to whether the trees and/or waterway are included within those boundaries I'd recommend using a surveyor to report for you.
      You state that the trees are within the red outline so the waterway is presumably the concern so it may be worth contacting the Environment Agency to see if they have a view on it's ownership

      Reply
  57. Comment by Charles Lennard posted on

    Hi, I have a title to a piece of land, received from Land Registry a few years ago.
    The Title makes reference to the Property register and Charges Register with the words (in italics) :"Note: Copy in the certificate".

    To what certificate does this refer and how do I obtain a copy of same?

    Reply
  58. Comment by Tom O'Callaghan posted on

    We bought our house in 1968 and it was registered. Does the land Registry
    issue documentation proving who owns the house, and if so what's it called? Could this be used in lieu of deeds? We no longer have a mortgage nor have we notified anyone as we were not aware that it was necessary to do so.

    Reply
    • Replies to Tom O'Callaghan>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Tom - if it's registered then the electronic register confirms ownership. Anyone can confirm those details online or by post as the blog article explains

      Reply
  59. Comment by Anne Feltham posted on

    We have just finished paying off our mortgage and our house is now registered with the land registry and we have a copy of this which our lender sent us. I phoned the bank (lender) and asked them for the house deeds, but was told the land registry hold them and to apply for them.
    According to the information above, this isn't correct and the mortgage lender should have them.
    The house was originally purchased direct from the council in 2006 and we didn't need to use a solicitor.
    I don't understand what's going on here and am totally confused. We simply want our deeds!

    Reply
    • Replies to Anne Feltham>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Anne - the term 'house deeds' can mean a variety of things to different people/organisations. When you bought your house from the Council there will have been no old deeds/documents as I assume the house was one of many they owned. Your house deeds will have comprised the Transfer from the Council to you which then triggered registration. So the register, title plan and copy of that Transfer are in effect the 'house deeds'

      Reply
  60. Comment by Graham Richards posted on

    I downloaded the title register for my property after paying off the mortgage on it and the bank have verified that the charge was removed. However, it still shows their name and address as "Lender", is this just the last person of interest on the property or should that be removed? They have assured me that they removed the charge in 2016.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Graham Richards>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Graham - if a mortgage has been paid off and redeemed then it should not appear on the register. It reads as if either they did not apply to remove it; we failed to remove it when they did; of there were perhaps two legal charges in their favour but they only applied to remove one of them at the time. Did you take a further advance or additional loan with them perhaps or is the charge date on the register the same as when you bought the property/took out the original mortgage as this would offer a clue as to what may have happened.
      If not and you think there has been an error then I would suggest submitting the specific details and we can check what records we have on file and email a reply once confirmed https://help.landregistry.gov.uk/app/contactus_general/?utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=govuk&utm_campaign=death_contact_page_to_contact_form&utm_content=web_page

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Graham Richards posted on

        Thanks, I have submitted a query via this link. Please can you check the status and let me know?

        Reply
        • Replies to Graham Richards>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Graham - the support team will pick it up, consider and then reply by email. This is normally done within 5 working days

          Reply
  61. Comment by Yaffa Rowbotham Kramer posted on

    Hi,
    We have paid our mortgage in June and were told by the lender to apply for the Title Deeds at the Land Registry. (We have the Title Deeds number)
    The Title Deeds is my document and should be sent free of charge, either electronically or an hard copy.
    Why I am being asked to pay £59 plus vat for what is rightfully mine ?

    Reply
    • Replies to Yaffa Rowbotham Kramer>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi. I regret I am not clear as to what the £59 charge relates to? Lenders will sometimes charge a redemption fee to complete the formalities when a mortgage is paid off. That is obviously a matter for the parties involved. As to the title deeds, some lenders may require the borrowers to apply for copies of the title documents themselves if they need to have a record of the mortgage being cancelled from the register. Our fees for obtaining copies of the title register and plan are £7 each (£3 each if obtained online) and an additional £7 each for a copy(ies) of any deeds/documents referred to as filed in the said title register. Please see our guidance - https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land . Please note that our website pages will differ from those of commercial organisations by having 'gov.uk' in the web address.

      If you have any further queries, please contact us https://bit.ly/2F6AtxU quoting the title number.

      Reply
      • Replies to ianflowers>

        Comment by diane posted on

        I have found out that when our deeds were copied electronically the land registry informed the mortgage company when they returned them that they were no longer needed and they could do what they wanted with them. So our mortgage provider destroyed them without informing us. The transfer of deeds to electronic storage began in 2002 by the land registry. People are not informed about this and don't find out until they pay off their mortgage. They are then informed by their mortgage lenders to get in touch with the land registry and then charged money to get a copy of their deeds as the mortgage providers have destroyed original deeds. They do not tell you the truth until you kick up a stink. Disgusting money making racket just typical of the way this country treats its hard working citizens.

        Reply
        • Replies to diane>

          Comment by ianflowers posted on

          Diane - the electronic title register was prepared from the paper registers that we held, not from the deeds. As mentioned in the blog, the original deeds are normally returned to the solicitors acting when the property is first registered with us. Where there was an outstanding mortgage, the lender would usually hold the deeds. But most converted their own records to electronic format and in that case would normally have been required to return any paper deeds to the borrower.

          The relevant change in 2002 was that paper Land and Charge Certificates were made obsolete and were not required to be lodged on applications to change the register. But those certificates would have only contained a copy of the title register and usually only copies of any conveyancing deeds.

          Please do contact us is you'd like us to look into your particular case: https://help.landregistry.gov.uk/app/contactus_general/?utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=govuk&utm_campaign=death_contact_page_to_contact_form&utm_content=web_page .

          Reply
  62. Comment by Ruth Speirs posted on

    Hi we are trying to get an old lease registered on our property as it mentions shared access rights and the buyers solicitor is adamant they won't complete without it. Buyer needs to complete by end of August and land registry says they will expedite - any guidance on how long this could take from the normal 58 working days?

    Reply
    • Replies to Ruth Speirs>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Ruth - expedition will normally mean that the application is considered within 10 working days. Everything then usually depends on it being in order

      Reply
  63. Comment by Elise posted on

    Would you be able to tell me who’s responsible for checking the deeds and boundary lines when buying a house? Having lived in my property for almost 3 years the council have advised that a portion of my front garden is actually council land that was paved over (prior to me moving) and they need it returned to council requirements. Surely this should have been picked up by someone in the Conveyancing process? Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Elise>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Elise - in my experience the conveyancer will ask their client to check and compare the registered/transferred extent with the reality on the ground. They don;t visit the property after all so normally that responsibility is passed to their client. But modern techniques such as google maps etc can mean they do take a look in some way but very much something to go back to your conveyancer with to see what they say

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Elise posted on

        Thanks for your help Adam. That does make sense although I don’t remember ever being asked to check this and unfortunately it isn’t something I ever would have thought to check myself.
        The conveyancing company isn’t being very helpful they’ve stopped returning my emails now!

        Reply
        • Replies to Elise>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Elise - you may have to keep pressing and if you get nowhere then they should have a complaints process. You may not get the outcome you want but they should at least respond/close out the issue for you

          Reply
          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Elise posted on

            Thank you for the advice Adam, you’ve been really helpful.

  64. Comment by Richard posted on

    Is there a place, museum, whatever where old deeds no longer needed following registration can be sent?

    Reply
    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Richard - not that I am aware of. You can approach a local museum or perhaps the County Records office but no guarantees either would want them

      Reply
  65. Comment by keith waldman posted on

    im doing my own conveyancing selling my house.will the buyers conveyancer accept a online copy of the official copy of register and copy of title plan instead of a paper version?

    Reply
    • Replies to keith waldman>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Keith - very much something for them to confirm for you

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by keith waldman posted on

        So is it £7 for official copy of register and £7 for title plan or does £7 cover both.

        Reply
  66. Comment by Nina duckers posted on

    My son has inherited an house from my deceased uncle (which has been 3yrs since death) how does my son have to change the title deeds into his name to.prove ownership of the house

    Regards
    Nina

    Reply
  67. Comment by Hoi Hung Kong posted on

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    My sister has paid off her commercial mortgage around 7 weeks ago, she has received a letter from her mortgage lender stating the discharge documents have been forwarded to the relevant land registry for them to arrange the removal of legal charge, for confirmation that our interest in the property has been discharged, please contact the relevant land registry direct.

    Is there an email address that I could contact to find out about the discharged or will the land registry send out a confirmation letter to her about it?

    Reply
  68. Comment by Elspeth Loudon posted on

    My dad built his own home in 1954. Title deed was in his name. some years later Mum and dad decided to add mum to the title deeds. They each own 1/2 share. Wills state everything will go to the other when each passes away. Solicitors have obtained title deeds for us but are saying title destination does not state who will receive dads 1/2 now he has died.
    They have stated a Sherriff will have to confirm mum is to receive his 1/2 even though it said so in the will. Confused? why do we need a will ? this is now going to cost my mum over £1000 to obtain his 1/2 as it states in his will. The wills cost over £600 when they made them and were deemed by another solicitor to be of good quality when she checked them out.

    Reply
    • Replies to Elspeth Loudon>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Elspeth - is this a property in England or Wales? I ask as you refer to a 'sherriff' and I am not familiar with that position operating in such matters in England or Wales. Can you clarify that first please?

      Reply
  69. Comment by K Ashley posted on

    Hi
    I had a joint mortgage . My Husband and i separated 20 years ago [ not divorced still due to finding him] and he never made any contribution to the mortgage.
    I paid the mortgage off 5 years ago [was over the 25 year term but some monies owed- i had to take a loan out ] I received a form to apply for the deeds but as it was a joint mortgage and stated people on the mortgage to sign and i haven't seen my ex i haven't applied for them.

    Can i sell the house without the deeds myself?
    Will i still be able to get the deeds or will they have been destroyed as not claimed?
    Will the property be registered [if it is] in both our names?

    I feel like i'm stuck!

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to K Ashley>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi. The first thing to consider as you've mentioned is whether your property is already registered with us. You should be able to check this online and get a copy of the title record for £3 - https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/search-the-register .

      If it is, the electronic title record that we hold will give the position as to the outstanding mortgage and also whether you own the property with your husband as joint owners. As to what is needed to cancel the mortgage and receive the 'deeds' that something that you'd need to discuss further with the mortgage company involved. But generally speaking, that process may not need the consent or signature of both owners.

      As to the deeds themselves, as mentioned in the blog if the property is registered with us, then we will hold the electronic title record. Then the deeds such as old conveyances would not be required to prove your ownership. If they are available, they may still be held by the lender and would be returned to you once the mortgage has been paid off.

      As to selling the property, if the property is held in joint names, any sale/ transfer of ownership would require the involvement of both parties. If there are difficulties with this, you may want to consider seeking independent legal advice, from example, from Citizen's Advice or from a conveyancer such as a solicitor.

      You can also contact us via our online form - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/contact-hm-land-registry giving the property details and we will then consider what procedural advice we can give which will be more specific to your particular situation.

      Reply
      • Replies to ianflowers>

        Comment by kashley posted on

        Hi

        Thank you for this.

        As stated no mortgage outstanding - all paid off 5 years ago.

        I am not aware if registered so will apply for details.

        I did register property with you for property alert in July this year- does that mean it's registered ?

        Thank you

        Reply
        • Replies to kashley>

          Comment by ianflowers posted on

          Hi. Yes, if you have a property alert set up for the property concerned then it will be registered.

          Reply
          • Replies to ianflowers>

            Comment by K Ashley posted on

            Thank you for your help 🙂

  70. Comment by Louise Norman posted on

    Hi, we are in the process of buying a property. It hasn’t ever been registered as the owner has lived there for 40yrs. The solicitor is going to send in the application. Approximately how long is registration taking please?

    Reply
    • Replies to Louise Norman>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Louise - the average timescale is around 34 working days at present. If there is a linked transaction such as a confirmed onward sale then the solicitor should provide those details/evidence and ask us to consider expediting their application. That can reduce the wait time to just a few weeks

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Louise Norman posted on

        The first registration application went in weeks ago. Are you able to check the progress of this please? (I can message you the post code privately).

        Reply
        • Replies to Louise Norman>

          Comment by ianflowers posted on

          Louise - please use our form and we'll get back to you asap - https://bit.ly/2F6AtxU .

          Reply
          • Replies to ianflowers>

            Comment by Louise Norman posted on

            Hi Ian, the application went in around the 24th September (35 working days, last week). You mentioned the average is around 34 working days. However, the vendors solicitors has checked and been informed it could take 16 weeks! Why is there such a difference please? The solicitors are telling us that they have informed Land Registry that a sale is pending. 16 weeks can't be the expedited time.

          • Replies to Louise Norman>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Louise - the 34 working days is an average so some applications wait a little longer before they are considered. I am unsure why 16 weeks would have been quoted but some applications can take a lot longer depending on what checks/considerations have to be made. If there is anything unusual about this application you should as the seller's solicitor to confirm/advise.
            Our records show that the solicitor did contact us regarding expediting the application in early October but this was refused. If your purchase is now confirmed I would suggest that they make a further request and provide evidence to confirm the purchase is to take place

  71. Comment by Raymond Swalwell posted on

    I am in possession of a letter from the Cheltenham and Gloucester (August 2015). Stating that on redemption of our mortage. "All documents are now held by the Land Registry"

    Reply
    • Replies to Raymond Swalwell>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Raymond - lenders have a wide variety of ways of trying to explain such matters to their customers but the article explains what we hold and how the register and title plan are stored electronically. All documents is a misleading statement and I suspect they mean All documents needed to confirm your ownership for example

      Reply
  72. Comment by Helen posted on

    Hi I hope someone can help me. We are in the process of selling our house. We found out after the land searches have been done that half of the property is still in the previous owners name. We don’t know how this has happened. It’s been over a month since we told the solicitor who dealt with the sale and nothing has happened. We are going to loose the sale of house and just want some advice on what we can do

    Reply
    • Replies to Helen>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Helen - you very much need to rely on your conveyancer here as to next steps and advice on what to do. If the land is registered to a previous owner they will need to trace them and get them to transfer that ownership to them. How long that takes and what issues arise are ones only your conveyancer can assist you with.

      Reply
  73. Comment by SHARON SHARON JACKSON posted on

    Why does a property not have a Title Number ?
    How do i search for information on the land the house was built on if there are no deeds existing ?

    Reply
  74. Comment by Still Confused posted on

    Dear Adam, Ian and colleagues,
    I have tried to get through all of the above exchanges and many of my questions have been answered, thanks.
    However:
    I have paid to download the leasehold title, and confirmed that it is almost identical to the copy I have from when I purchased the flat. It shows we own the leasehold of the flat and there is a mortgage charge against it. However, is this the same as "the Deeds"? I want to find out if the Land Registry has a copy of the Lease itself and/or a copy of the Floorplan of our flat. Which document(s) should I purchase or attempt to purchase to confirm this?
    Apologies if this has been explained but I missed it or didn't understand.
    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Still Confused>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Still C - once a property is registered the electronic record is essentially the 'title deed'. The term 'the deeds' is in my experience associated with how title or ownership was proven before registration, namely you had a pile of deeds, inc a lease in this case, and they were used to prove your ownership.
      You can apply for a copy of the lease by post https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/copies-of-deeds
      Some leases contain floor plans but we would not register/record such plans in isolation. So if the lease does not include one then we won;t have a coy of a floor plan

      Reply
  75. Comment by Worried Estate Executor posted on

    Will the Land Registry return an original Grant of Probate and death certificate once the paper work for registering a property had been completed?
    Solicitor sent them without informing me that they might be kept and they are the only ones we have.

    Reply
    • Replies to Worried Estate Executor>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      WEE - we do not retain these and they should be returned. The registration services you obtained them from issue official copies for use for official purposes and it is one of these people should use rather than the originals.

      Reply
  76. Comment by Madeleine M posted on

    Hi
    My late husband and I purchased our house outright as joint tenants in 1984. I now wish to register my ownership prior to downsizing. However I wish to keep my house deeds out of historical interest.

    Your website states: "If applying for first registration, your application must consist entirely of:
    original supporting documents; or
    certified copy deeds and a conveyancer’s certificate",
    and also states that original documents will be scanned and destroyed.

    Does this mean if I want to keep the original documents I must pay a conveyancer / solicitor to certify the copies fill in the forms for me? This seems unfair to applicants in person.

    Thanks for your answer.

    Reply
    • Replies to Madeleine M>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi. Our general guidance on first registrations is here in case you have not already seen this - https://www.gov.uk/registering-land-or-property-with-land-registry/register-for-the-first-time . We do require certified copies (a copy certified as a true copy of the original) to be lodged of certain documents in order to return the originals to you on completion of the application. These are:

      • the latest document of title - usually the conveyance/transfer relating to your house purchase,
      • any subsisting lease being registered,
      • any subsisting mortgage being registered,
      . any certificate relating to stamp duty land tax (SDLT)
      • any relevant statutory declaration or statement of truth.

      Any other documents will be returned to you on completion, even if you do not lodge a copy.

      The requirement to see the original documents where no legal professional is acting is mainly to safeguard against fraud. Where a conveyancer is acting, different procedures do apply in that they can lodge only certified copy documents. This is because the accompanying conveyancer's certificate reflects that they are required to conduct identity and other checks of their client(s) as part of their professional responsibilities.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Reply
  77. Comment by Madeleine M posted on

    Thanks for your answer.
    I understand your point about fraud and requiring sight of the original documents. However, the Land Registry's own blog (above) states, "It is a good idea to keep title deeds as they can provide extra information..."
    That being so, why is it not possible to return the paper originals to an applicant in person when that person requests them and is willing to pay postage?

    You say in your answer that documents will be returned but this contradicts your website which says that originals will be scanned and destroyed.

    Regards,

    Reply
    • Replies to Madeleine M>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      We do say it is a good idea to keep title deeds and provided copies of the documents I have referred to accompany the originals supplied on first registration, we will return the originals by post to the person lodging the application once it is completed. On updates to an existing register no pre-registration deeds will be lodged and therefore our practice differs and originals may be scanned and destroyed in some circumstances. But this does not affect first registration applications as I have mentioned.

      Reply
  78. Comment by Madeleine M posted on

  79. Comment by Mayuor Patel posted on

    Thank you for this information.
    cthomebuysolutions.com

    Reply
  80. Comment by Rusk posted on

    We recently paid back in full our lender who offered to discharge the details of the loan from the Title Register/charge register,with the Land Registry since the fee to do this was included in the original loan agreement. However, before we agree to them to remove the charge, what document, if any held by the Land Registry will show exactly how much we borrowed against the property? I did send this enquiry by email but am fed up with waiting for a reply and hanging on to the phone because the Land Registry is experiencing a high volume of calls.

    Reply
    • Replies to Rusk>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Rusk - I am sorry that you have not received a reply to your previous contacts. Our role is to register the interest and we do not normally have any involvement in the financial side of things. So the register will refer to the mortgage date, usually whether that mortgage secures further advances and the details of the lender, but not the amount owed. This is sometimes contained in the charge/mortgage document itself but more usually in the loan agreement(s).

      Reply
      • Replies to ianflowers>

        Comment by Rusk posted on

        Thanks for your reply. You have said "This is sometimes contained in the charge/mortgage document itself but more usually in the loan agreement(s)." So, to clarify, the building society or bank doesn't send you specifics of the amount of the charge at any time and there would be no record of that amount anywhere at the land registry? The reason for checking is that I am almost certain that previously there used to be the amount of the charge recorded.

        Reply
        • Replies to Rusk>

          Comment by ianflowers posted on

          You're welcome. As mentioned, the charge amount may be shown in the charge document but this is not usual. This varies according the mortgage lender and perhaps historically, it was more common for the amount to be entered. The amount of charge may also appear on the application form when the charge is registered, for example, on the form the AP1. But again that is not particularly common as the charge will usually be lodged with other transactions, such as a transfer of ownership, and then the charge amount will not be needed for the assessment of our fees.

          Reply
          • Replies to ianflowers>

            Comment by Rusk posted on

            Thanks for replying further to my enquiry. However I have looked into the Land Registry forms that would have applied to our loan. This was a re-mortgage, not a purchase and did not involve a first registration of the property. I surmise from this that when the lender registered the charge with the LR they would have used forms AP1 and CH1. On the latter document in panel 9 they were required to fulfil the amount as directed in panel 7. Is it possible to retrieve a copy of the CH1 that the lender registered with yourselves/

          • Replies to Rusk>

            Comment by ianflowers posted on

            We should hold a copy of any CH1 registered. You'd need to apply by post on form OC2 and a fee of £7 will be payable. Please see our guidance on GOV.UK - https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/copies-of-deeds .

  81. Comment by Kath posted on

    We paid cash for a new build property about 10 months ago, and have received a completion of registration form quoting our title number. We would like to obtain paper copies of whatever constitutes our "title deeds". I've printed off form OC2 but I'm unsure how to complete part 7 which asks me to list the documents I'm requesting copies of, as it states if I put "Any" or "All' the application will be rejected. Could you advise what documents would normally be requested when someone wants a copy of their deeds? I'd like to be sure I've completed the form correctly and haven't missed out any relevant documents. Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Replies to Kath>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Kath - the deeds as far as we are concerned would usually constitute the title register (including information as to the current owner), the title plan - showing the general extent of the property and a copy of any deeds or documents referred to as filed on the title register. In addition to this, there'd be the documents returned on the completion of the registration application, usually to the solicitors acting. Plain copies of the title register and plan can be obtained online for £3 each. Or if official copies are required, you'd need to apply by post on form OC1 and this attracts a fee of £7 each.

      The form OC2 you've mentioned is for applying for any copies of deeds referred to as 'filed' on the register. So details of any such deed would go into part 7. The fee is £7 per document/deed. Please also see our guidance - https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry and https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/copies-of-deeds .

      Reply
  82. Comment by Robert Guinn posted on

    My parents have their original title deeds dating back to 1971 when they purchased the property from the council.
    The council have subsequently agreed to sell property on their estate to Network Housing, who now claim that my parents have built an extension to their property on Network Housing Property (The extension was built in 1974 with full planning consent within the property demise indicated in the deeds).
    My parents have never registered their property with Land Registry. Network Housing are claiming that the deeds are not proof of ownership and registration may not even help

    Reply
    • Replies to Robert Guinn>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Robert - As the property has not been registered with us we will not hold any information. Regarding the planning consent, this obviously falls under the responsibility of the local authority, but it is important to mention that planning approval and the registration of legal title are separate and distinct processes.

      The unregistered house deeds do indicate proof of ownership in general terms. What may be in doubt is whether the deeds show the extent of the property with sufficient certainty to resolve the issue with Network Housing. They are correct to say that registration of the land may not help directly as once registered, our title plans show general boundaries only, meaning that the exact position of the legal boundary line is left undefined.

      Other legal issues may come into play, for example, adverse possession (commonly referred to as squatter's rights), where title to land (for example, the whole or part of the land where the extension is situated) has been gained by possession over a number of years rather than by title deeds. This is a complex area of the law and we would suggest the parties involved consider seeking legal advice, for example, from Citizen's Advice or from a conveyancer, such as a solicitor, if they are unsure of the legal position and how to proceed.

      Reply
  83. Comment by darren posted on

    can someone tell me what happens and how to proceed, there is a small parcel of land that I know has never been built on and has been basically waste land for past 40 years ie not maintained by anyone,land registry don't have it on file and its not in their index the land next to is on the register but it isn't part of that land there are houses built opposite to this land. how do you find the owner what if it isn't owned by anyone how can you find out?

    Reply
  84. Comment by darren posted on

    thabnks for the reply i have been to land registry
    land registry do not have this land in their index ,

    Reply
  85. Comment by Anand posted on

    Hi,

    I have downloaded a copy of the title register and plan to my house and can see my property within the red lines. I am trying to determine exact boundaries and understand that the older paper deeds may have more information on measurements etc. (the online title plan appears to be a 1/1250 scale map). The title register says "The Freehold land shown edged with red on the plan of the above Title filed at the Registry and being []"

    There is no mention of any other title deeds being "filed at" at the Registry. Is the reference to "plan of the above Title" the same as "Title Deeds"?

    Also, in the Form OC2, there is a section for documents referred to in the title register and those not. Should I ask for a copy of:

    - the "plan of the above Title" in the section of Form OC2 requesting documents referred to in the register and section; and

    - a copy of the "Title Deeds" in the section of Form OC2 requesting documents not referred to in the register?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Reply
    • Replies to Anand>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi. It may assist to read our other blog: https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/27/drawing-the-line-on-boundaries/ as it explains that our title plans show general boundaries which means that the precise position of the legal boundary line is left undefined. It also links to our general guidance in this area. The plan of the above title refers to the title plan.

      If there are no title documents referred to as 'filed' in the register then it unlikely that we we hold any deeds which will show the boundary with more precision. Even where there are deeds filed they usually contain large scale plans which again only show the boundaries general position. Occasionally deed plans will refer to measurements but using this to determine the boundary position more precisely can be problematic for the reasons given in the blog referred to.

      There are other options in this area as referred to here: https://www.gov.uk/your-property-boundaries#legalboundaries . But they invariably require the agreement of the neighbour affected.

      Reply
  86. Comment by linda posted on

    We bought land some years ago, it was then registered in our name. We subsequently built our house with all the relevant planning permissions etc.
    My deeds only show the land and boundary as being owned by us, but when I did a search for my property on here, using our postcode, the house was listed along with others in the village.How do the land registry hold the house information ( house name and postcode) even though we never thought to add the house onto the land title deeds?
    Confused.com

    Reply
    • Replies to linda>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Linda - I should firstly mention that we register ownership and other interests in land rather than the buildings on it. The title register is created with a unique title number when a property is first registered with us and will include a property description which will be based on the most up to date information we have available at the time. This sources local authority, Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey address information and data. This address tends not to be updated unless we receive an application to do so.

      We you search with us by address this accesses our Property Gazetteer which provides a link between the registered title number, Ordnance Survey mapping information and current address data incorporating Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF). So even though the register / deeds may not refer to the postal address, when searching, the Property Gazetter enables the searcher to link the address with the title number based on the information referred to.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Reply
  87. Comment by J Wilson posted on

    I have just phoned the building society that I have (had) my mortgage with for the last 18 years as I have received a letter from the Land a Registry to tell me the Building Society have contacted them to say I have paid off my mortgage. Interestingly I am yet to be informed of the fact by my building society, which I am not impressed with.
    On enquiring when they intended to let me know & return my property deeds I was told that they posted them to me by first class post 5 days ago. Being concerned that they haven’t arrived & asking if they were sent by registered mail I was informed, in an extremely condescending manner, that “paper property deeds are just a novelty these days”..... I was horrified to hear that this is how they perceive my deeds & wonder if you agree with this comment?
    I am left, for the first time, feeling as if I’ve just been ticked off for being a stupid old woman!! Not only that but my deeds, which I thought were secure, may well have disappeared in the post.

    Reply
    • Replies to J Wilson>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you have experienced. As mentioned in the blog, the register and title plan for your property held by us in computerised format are your proof of ownership. Any original or copy pre-registration conveyancing deeds that existed are generally returned to the solicitor acting at the time of first registration. As mentioned in the blog, where a property is bought after being registered for the first time, the pre-registration deeds may or may not be handed over to the new buyer making them very difficult to trace in some circumstances.

      It would not be appropriate for us to comment on the actions of a third party such as the mortgage lender, but you may want to contact them to establish their policy and procedures for dealing with any property deeds in their possession.

      Reply
  88. Comment by Jo posted on

    Hello posted application OC2 for title plan and register documents for some properties today but can't see anywhere a reference as to how long it will take to get these? Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Jo>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Jo - We complete these types of application in 2-3 days on average. I should mention that OC1 is the correct form to apply for an official copy of the title plan, with OC2 being the form for official copies of the documents that we hold. If you have requested register documents that are not referred to as 'filed' in the register, then these may be held in paper format and consequently there might be a short delay due to us needing to call for paper files.

      Reply
  89. Comment by Jo posted on

    Hi Ian thanks for your response. Confused re OC1. Does that mean we have to send that for the title plan with that form also then? I filled in the OC2 requesting 'title property plan' and 'title property register' and sent company cheque £14.( I think in the short form doc I got from the land registry previously for £3 does refer to properties being 'filed'). (We need a copy of the original docs because HSBC have helpfully 'lost' the original deeds - which seems to be becoming quite a common phenomenon!)

    Reply
    • Replies to Jo>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi. Please see our general guidance on GOV.UK which explains what is available and the appropriate form - https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/search-the-register . Essentially the title register and title plan that we hold in computerised format constitute your proof of ownership and the form OC1 would apply for official copies of those documents. But as you have already applied on the OC2, it would be best to wait to hear from us.

      The register as you refer to might also reference a document(s) / deed(s) as 'filed'. These documents are not required to prove ownership, but customers can apply for an official copy in form OC2 paying £7 per document.

      Reply
  90. Comment by Liz Lewin posted on

    Hi, really hoping you can help. I'm trying to purchase a house with 2 different issues. First one is the garage at the end of the garden is on unregistered land. Sellers have applied to LR for possessory title and for it to be expedited. Mortgage people happy with this as ling as there is an indemnity policy with it also. Issue no.2 which i'm struggling to understand. The property is freehold but the title register shows the sellers as having title absolute on the freehold however there is also a lease sitting there. The sellers can't prove they own the leasehold as no deeds. They have a copy of the lease itself. My solicitor is saying all they actually own is the ground rent and not the actual property. Unless they can come up with the deeds the sale can't go through. They say LR will not be happy with an indemnity policy unless they have a possessory title of the leasehold. Surely as the property has a title number this proves ownership of the house? My solicitor insists they don't own the property just the ground rent. Sellers solicitor doesn't see what the problem is. I am at a total loss. Both solicitors are just emailing each other taking days to reply with no progress. If I gave you the title number can you look at it and tell me if you agree all the sellers own is the ground rent please?

    Reply
    • Replies to Liz Lewin>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Liz - Hi. I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you have experienced. We essentially have an administrative role in registering ownership and other interests in land once the respective transactions have been completed. So we wouldn't be involved in decisions such as indemnity insurance which would made during exchange / completion and prior to an application being made to us.

      From the information your have given, it appears that the seller's own the freehold but there is an unregistered lease noted on that freehold title. Freehold and leasehold titles are separate and distinct and so if a third party did in fact have title to the leasehold then the value of the freehold would obviously be impacted by this. This may be what your solicitor means by the freeholder owning the ground rent as they would be subject to and bound by the terms of the lease.

      It is really something to discuss further with your solicitor and ultimately all parties will have to reach an agreement if the sale is to proceed. We will register any application we receive on its merits, for example, if we receive a transfer of ownership of the freehold title, we will register that if in order and the noted lease will simply remain on the register.

      Reply
  91. Comment by Sherry posted on

    Hello,
    my husband and I bought a house that was on leasehold in 2005. We later purchased the freehold land from the owner in 2006.
    we got the registered documentation/deed but I never really read it. Now we are looking to sell our property and see there is an error on the registration.

    What can we do to correct this 12 years later?

    thanks

    Reply
  92. Comment by Fiona McGuire posted on

    Hi

    just enquiring my elderly aunt is getting her affairs in order and informs me as she has me named as an executor in her will , that hsbc /midland has her deeds since the mortgage was paid off years ago.
    knowing how banks frequently lose deeds where would I stand after her demise on selling her house without the original deeds I know this sounds awful enquiring now but she is getting very confused and need to know if she needs to do anything about the house deeds now or if I will be able to sort it out after the inevitable Fiona

    Reply
  93. Comment by Mo posted on

    Hi there

    I am currently buying a property and approaching exchange of contracts. I've been reading about various conveyancing matters as a result...

    One of the things I've read about is the Priority Search but I'm a bit confused as to what this is and wondered if you are able to explain?

    I'd also like to say how informative and helpful all of the replies on here are. It's great to see 🙂

    Cheers

    Reply
  94. Comment by Anne posted on

    I have a copy of my title deeds from Land Registry. On Section B: Proprietorship Register no - Title absolute no.1 I am listed as proprietor. no.2 lists the price paid. no.3 Restriction: No disposition of the registered estate by the proprietor of the registered estate is to be registered without written consent signed by the Secretary of State for Transport or his conveyancer that the provisions of the Schedule within the Transfer dated 20 June 2007 have been complied with.
    I do not know what the restrictions refer to. I wrote to Highways England - Land Enquiries over 7 weeks ago and due to their volume of work, I can't expect a reply within at least 12 weeks. Have I contacted the right people for clarification on this disposition, or do I have to try and get the full title deeds from my mortgage lender? Reading the previous replies you have given, it might not be possible to obtain full title deeds. Thank you.

    Reply
  95. Comment by Margaret posted on

    Margaret having just finished paying my mortgage off the building society has has sent me a letter stating that I have no paper deeds. However I fully believed that my deeds were being safely stored as a security against my mortgage. These deeds have a long history which I Having been looking forward to reading. I feel as though my rights have been violated the building society claim that the land registry requested them back. Who do those deeds belong too.

    Reply
    • Replies to Margaret>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Margaret - the word 'deeds' can mean different things to different people depending on the context. It may help to add a bit of background to that starting with how all properties were once owned and the owner(s) relied on a series of old deeds/documents to prove that ownership. The key deeds were the Conveyances from one seller to a buyer and so on so you had a series of deeds showing how the property had changed hands over the years.
      Land registration was then introduced over a period of time starting with London, then including other major cities and eventually whole districts/areas. The bulk of that registration started in the 60's through until the 90s when the whole of England & Wales was subject to compulsory registration the next time an unregistered property was sold/bought
      Registration meant lodging those original deeds/documents with us, we created a register/title plan and a copy of both in the form of a Land Certificate (Charge Certificate if there was a mortgage) and issued that to the applicant along with the original deeds/documents. The Land/Charge Certificates also became known as title deeds or deeds as a result.
      On a mortgaged property pre 2000 the lender would often hold the original deeds/documents and Charge Certificate as security - the owner would need the Charge Certificate (not the original deeds/documents) to prove ownership and hand over to any new buyer
      So IF you had a mortgage of some age then the lender may have been holding those original deeds/documents. When it was paid off/redeemed many lenders would send in the Charge Certificate to be destroyed as since 2000 we no longer produce such certificates. At no point will they have sent us the original deeds/documents and we would not have requested these.
      You don;t state when you bought the property or what 'deeds' you were given at the time. That would be key to knowing what your lender had held and for how long. For example if you bought an already registered property then the seller may not have had the original deeds/documents or if they did they may not have handed them over. As it was registered there was no need.
      As to who do they belong to - I would suggest the registered owner but you would have to check with your lender as to what they held when you took out the mortgage and what their policy was when we stopped producing the certificates and they decided there was no need for them to hold anything as security

      Reply

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