Buying a home: the importance of making sure the seller is entitled to sell
If you are buying a house or a flat your conveyancer will need to carry out many checks and searches as part of the conveyancing process to make sure everything goes smoothly and that you get the keys to your dream home as quickly as possible. One of the most important things they will need to do is to check that the seller is legally entitled to sell the property and that what they are shown as owning in the legal paperwork actually matches what you can see on the ground.
Louis Mathers, Director and Head of Conveyancing with Parnalls Solicitors in Launceston looks at how property ownership is established, the problems that can sometimes arise where the legal documents and physical layout of the property do not marry up and the role of your conveyancer in resolving these problems to keep your property purchase on track.
Proving property ownership
The seller’s conveyancer should provide proof of property ownership as soon as the sale has been agreed and lawyers have been instructed to act. However, it is the responsibility of your conveyancer to ensure that everything is in order. Proof of ownership will be provided in one of two ways. Where the property has been registered with Her Majesty’s Land Registry it will be provided via a copy of a digital register. Where it is unregistered it will be provided via a series of documents, known as title deeds, which will track ownership of the property over the years to enable your conveyancer to check its lawful transfer to the seller.
When examining the register or title deeds your conveyancer will be looking out for anything which suggests that the seller does not have the right to sell the property. Typical things they will look out for include entries in the paperwork which suggest the seller does not own the property alone or which make it clear that someone else’s consent will be needed before the sale can proceed.
Your conveyancer will also be looking to make sure that the seller owns everything they say they do. In particular they will take care to ensure that the boundaries of the property on the ground accord with where the register or title deeds say the boundaries should be. Sometimes discrepancies can arise for a whole host of reasons.
For instance, it may be that when the property was registered the land registry made a mistake when transferring a copy of the property’s plan onto its digital register which means that the boundary locations shown on the registered plan are wrong. Alternatively, if the seller purchased the property from a developer, it may be that the boundaries of the property were changed in between the original site plan being prepared and the property being constructed but that these changes were not incorporated into the plan attached to the sale documents.
It may also be that the seller has physically moved their boundaries, by relocating fences or growing a hedge, in order to encompass land that does not officially belong to them but which they have treated as belonging to them for so many years that they now have the right to claim ownership over it.
The role of your conveyancer will be to get to the root of any problems and ensure appropriate steps are taken to resolve them before your purchase goes any further.
Resolving ownership issues
The steps that your conveyancer may suggest will vary depending on what the problem is. In the context of boundary issues, for example, mistakes made by the land registry can often be resolved by notifying them of the problem and asking them to correct it. Mistakes made by a developer may be resolved by asking them to enter a deed of rectification which retrospectively amends the original sale agreement and property transfer document. And situations in which a seller has moved their boundaries to incorporate land that does not officially belong to them may in some cases be dealt with by obliging them to apply to register their ownership rights with the land registry and only agreeing to proceed with the purchase if the application is successful.
Your conveyancer may also suggest that the seller be asked to pay for an insurance policy to ensure that if any subsequent problems arise as to their ownership rights, you will be financially protected from any consequences.
If you are thinking about buying or selling a property and want to ensure things proceed smoothly, please contact Louis Mathers on 01566 772375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.
Valuing an estate for probate
Do I need a cohabitation agreement?
Have you had an accident involving a horse?
Planning, Construction & Development
Preparing to sell your Launceston property
The Need for Updating Wills
Debt recovery and how we can help
Claiming compensation for a serious road traffic accident
Residential Sale and Purchases
Information to gather for your probate solicitor
Accidents, Compensation & Personal Injury
What type of will do I need?
Had an Accident in Someone's Home?
Ten common debt recovery mistakes
How to choose an executor to administer your estate when you die
The ultimate personal injury and accident claim checklist
Putting your legal affairs in order
Your responsibilities when you have people working in your home
10 reasons to appoint a Personal Injury solicitor
The risks of DIY probate
Does your lawyer progress your accident claim efficiently and provide you with a personal and professional service? Can I change solicitors for my accident claim?
Why you should always use a solicitor to prepare your will
Five problems with a leasehold property
Making a will when you retire
Buying your first home with a small deposit
Site assembly for commercial development
Meeting your conveyancing solicitor, what you need to prepare
Landlords’ options for enforcing commercial tenants’ obligations
Untangling Overseas Assets
KATHERINE FLASHMAN KITSON CELEBRATING 25 YEARS AS A DIRECTOR OF PARNALLS
Do you know the difference between…
When to consider appointing a professional attorney
Should I get a cohabitation agreement?
The Right to Make Noise
Ill-health pension transfer not liable for IHT
Legal Time Limits - why so important?
Would you pay a premium for a south-facing garden?
Video-witnessed wills to be made legal
New Planning Relaxation Is Not the Whole Storey
How to minimise delays in obtaining Grant of Probate
Could you benefit from the Green Homes Grant?
A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM: new electrical safety regulations for residential tenancies
Property of Cornish residents who die without a will goes to Prince Charles
What effect could the new changes to stamp duty have on property sales?
Staying safer in video meetings
Making Sure Your Great New Home Comes With Clean Air
Property Market Re-Opens in England
Coronavirus: Wills and Powers of Attorney FAQ
Medical Care Received Not Up to Scratch?
Accident or Injury Involving a Dog?
Social Distancing No Obstacle for Parnall's Mobile Document Signing Team
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Commercial Property Legal FAQs
Rent Charge Suspensions: Protecting Your Interests
Been Asked to Sign an Employment Settlement Agreement? Seek Advice Urgently...
Services Update: Continuity of Legal Service Provision
Advising You in Uncertain Times
Could carelessness on social media land you in court?
Is an electronic signature on a commercial property document acceptable?
What happens when there is no health & care LPA in place
Social Media Training for Businesses
Gazundering, what it is and how to avoid it
Relief from forfeiture – what happens if the tenant forgets to pay the rent?
Not so safe at work - compensation for an accident at work
New organ donation law: giving you control
Running a business from home
Have nude photos of you or your teenager been posted online?
Landowners’ rights and the Electronic Communications Code
Building in your back garden
Christmas is a time for giving (and inheritance planning)
Buying the freehold of your leasehold house
Redeveloping an empty pub for commercial use
Why it takes time to obtain the Grant of Probate
Social Media: The unconscious privacy threat
Is your reputation being threatened?
Making a will after your spouse or partner has died
Interns celebrate completion of internship at solicitors
Selling your home in a flat market, some top tips
New Media and Communications Court list reflects surge in internet defamation claims by Laura Baglow
Has your personal information been shared without your permission?
Planning your escape to the country, what you need to consider – part 2
Government consultation on new national model for shared ownership
Choosing a partnership structure
Planning for what happens when you die by Deborah Adams
Changes to legislation could offer protection for tenants in the private rental sector
Move to the country - Part One
Will your septic tank still be legal in January?
The death knell for ‘kiss and tell’?
Selling your property at auction
Not looking so good - your guide to compensation for botched non-surgical cosmetic procedures
New threshold of seriousness in defamation proceedings
Legal considerations when building a granny annex
Choosing the right person for your power of attorney
Formal Interviews - Do you need legal representation?
Privacy rights and aerial images
Trustees’ duty to give information to beneficiaries
Taking your first commercial lease
Is your organisation protected from employee social media legal risk?
Have you been targeted by negative social media posts?
Farmers be alert when being inspected
Help for House Sellers?
Don’t let your digital assets end up in a digital grave
Development proposals and your local authority search
What can you do if your child is injured in a serious accident
NetRights welcomes new protection for social media users
SHOULD I GET A LAWYER FOR A SPEEDING OFFENCE?
Supreme Court recognises that social media is a “casual medium” in libel battle
Choosing the best conveyancer who is right for you
Making a will after a second or subsequent marriage
Option or promotion agreement – which is best for landowners?
Anonymous pub and restaurant online reviews leave a bad taste
Help to Buy – beware of some cracks in the structure
Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney
Changes to Energy Performance Certificate for Landlords
Had a cycling accident? Your route to obtaining compensation
New year, new home: tips to sell your home in the New Year
Tax Planning for your inheritance
Hearing loss: when your employer may be liable
Buying a home for your retirement, five things you need to consider
Farmers plan to diversify after Brexit
Ministers press ahead with probate fee shake-up - reports BBC News
Botched dental treatment? You may be entitled to compensation
Why a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is a good idea
Will the new charge on building developments in Cornwall affect you?
Energy Performance Certificates – Do They Matter?
HMRC Challenging Stamp Duty Land Tax Payments
Ben Mitchell qualifies as a solicitor
The potential implications of Brexit on employment law
Appointing a guardian for your children
Houses in multiple occupation – new rules from October 2018
New Agriculture Bill published
Will Brexit affect my pension?
Dreaming of a holiday home? Sort out the legals before putting your feet up
Lasting Power of Attorney by Deborah Adams
Settled status after Brexit by Alexis Hager
How overage agreements can boost profits from your land
Top tips for first-time buyers
How Could Brexit Affect My Farm?
Wills & Succession in Spain by Deborah Adams
Brexit – an international and local view by Alexis Hager, Litigation
Capital gains tax - important facts for non-residents of the UK
Buying a home: the importance of making sure the seller is entitled to sell
Changing a will after someone has died: it is possible and it could save you money
Sad passing of Battle of Britain pilot who served with Parnall family member
Considerations when buying a heritage property
Disciplinary proceedings at work: guide for employers
Employers should have a disciplinary process in place, but just following this may not be enough to avoid falling foul of the law and exposing yourself to the risk of an employment tribunal claim.