When we receive copies of the Land Registry Title from a seller's solicitor, what are the main things that we are looking for, as a buyer's solicitor?
When we first receive the Contract from a Sellers solicitor, it will show the names of the Sellers, the Title Number for the property, which is registered at H M Land Registry.
The Title is divided into Registers:
- Property Register – which refers to the Title plan and sets out the address of the property being sold. This Register would also note any rights granted in favour of the property, for example a right of way over a rear access.
- Proprietorship Register – this gives the full names of the owners of the property and sometimes the price paid when they purchased. This Register would also show any Restrictions in the Title, for example if the Sellers own the property as Tenants in Common in specific shares.
- The Charges Register- this refers to any covenants that may be in this title, for example, to maintain the boundary to the West. This Register also shows any mortgages secured on the Title, which we would need to ensure that the Sellers solicitors provide their undertaking to redeem upon the completion of the sale.
As lawyers acting for a Buyer we need to check the Title fully to be certain that there is nothing referred to within it that would cause us concern, such as any unusual covenants. We would also need to check that there was nothing left out of it that we would expect to see, such as rights of way over access ways to and from the property.
Any defects in the Title need to be picked up as quickly as possible in the transaction and, where possible, rectified before contracts are exchanged.