Title deeds are the documents that outline the property ownership and any other information specific to a property.

For instance restrictive covenants (promises not to do something on or with the land/buildings on it) or rights of the owner or others over the property. These documents historically included conveyances (the document by which property legally transferred between parties), contracts and legal charges/mortgages.

It used to be the case that the deeds to a property would be held by a mortgage lender or solicitor in a secure place, usually some form of fire proof safe storage area, so that at any time you wished to charge or sell a property then the deeds would be easily obtained.

On registration original deeds and documents detailing the ownership of the property and any changes to it would be sent to the Land Registry for them to check the position and update their own records accordingly and produce an up to date title information document, also known as official copy register or title register.

In 2003 the Land Registry adopted an approach of dematerialisation, which effectively moved deeds from being paper based to electronic.

The result of this is that many properties no longer have a selection of paper deeds detailing their history of ownership but instead have one succinct title information document which outlines all the relevant information. The Land Registry during this process have more often than not been logging electronic copies of relevant historical documents copies can be obtained if they are required. The Land Registry were destroying any original documents sent to them unless they were specifically being requested to be returned.

It is therefore likely that if you purchased your property since 2003 there will not be any physical deeds held anywhere but this will not impact upon progressing a transaction.

On completion of a purchase registration it is likely that aside from any guarantees, warranties or local authority certificates there will not be any deeds to send you apart from the Title Information Document when your ownership has been registered at the Land Registry.

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To find out more contact the Ringrose Law Conveyancing Team across Lincolnshire and Newark.


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