Unregistered property, be it unregister land, an unregistered house or flat, is a property that is not registered with the Land Registry. Around 13% of property in the UK is not registered.
Being unregistered can cause complications and a delay in the sale of your property.
What is a registered property?
When a property is first registered with the Land Registry, the deeds of the property are used to extract the relevant information, being the address, if it is Freehold or Leasehold, any mortgages or charges against the title, the owner’s name along with rights and restrictions that affect the property. It will all be laid out in a clear template Land Registry title, without the need to refer to the deeds which can be written in old English.
A Registered title:
- Gives you definitive proof of ownership without the need to keep deeds
- Helps protect your land from identity fraud more so than unregistered
- Makes it easier to sell your property or raise a mortgage
- If you lose the Title, it can be replaced in minutes for a £3 fee
What is an unregistered property?
To sell an unregistered property you need to hold the paper title deeds showing the root of the title. Registration of unregistered property became compulsory in 1998, but only when a property changed hands or was mortgaged. This doesn’t mean there is a problem with your property it means it hasn’t triggered one of the above. From our experience, this is usually the case on a deceased estate, having owned the property for many years. This is when the property is owned and proved owned by “the deeds”, which will or should be stored safely. This was often the case when a mortgage was paid off you left £1 owing to the bank or building society held the deeds.
If the deeds are lost, it will be necessary to provide evidence to the Land Registry to prove ownership which can lead to delay.
It is prudent to plan and register your land at any time as currently, Land Registry is taking twelve weeks to register a title, excluding any questions. When selling to 365 Property Buyer it may be possible to reduce this by making representations to Land Registry contacts.
Different classes of Land Registry title explained.
The best class of title to have and ownership cannot be disputed. This class of title will be granted by Land Registry when the deeds presented to the Land Registry can show an unbroken chain of ownership going back at least 15 years. In the case of leasehold title, the applicant would also need to prove the landlord’s right to grant the lease.
This would be granted when applying for registration the applicant couldn’t show an unbroken chain of ownership going back 15 years, or parts where missing in the chain. In this case, a person with a better claim to the land could challenge ownership and potentially succeed. This will reduce the value of the property and may render it unmortgageable.
This may be granted where a person is in physical occupation of land but has no deeds to support his right of ownership or where the deeds have been lost. Before making an application for the possessory title, the applicant (or the deceased) must have been in unbroken occupation for at least ten years in the case of registered land or 12 years in the case of unregistered land.
The property is at risk of possessory action which could lead to an action brought to recover possession of the property. This will reduce the value of the property and may render it unmortgageable and only suited to cash buyers.
This class of title will be granted where the applicant can prove an unbroken chain of ownership of the leasehold title going back at lease 15 years, but cannot do the same for the Freehold title. This generally means that there is possibly someone with a better claim to the superior title which could challenge the legality of the lease. Such a challenge would potentially fail, although the actual owner of the superior title may still claim that title and may be entitled to compensation. In such cases, an indemnity policy is typically offered, but not all lenders or buyers will accept this making it only suited to cash buyers.
Selling an unregistered property
365 Property Buyer have purchased all of the above titles and where the property is unregistered covered all legal and registration costs on the successful purchase of the property. We have even bought property where Land Registry would not grant any title, and the seller purchased only an indemnity policy. If you want a hassle-free sale contact us today for a genuine cash offer.