Early sight of the deeds = a smoother road to completion?

The client has signed the application, the surveyor has inspected, the value comes in on target, the offer is on the way… and then the case stalls with legal issues that, had you known about earlier, could have been dealt with weeks ago or may even have meant that the clients would have not proceeded.

So what is the solution?

If the case is likely to proceed then you may want to consider downloading a copy of the deeds from the Land Registry. A copy of the deeds can reveal a myriad of issues that need addressing:

1. Who are the owners? Does someone need to be added/removed (divorce/former partner on deeds)? Are the clients' names on the deeds different from what they told you - spellings/maiden names? All these points take time and money to resolve.

2. Is there a 'tenants in common' restriction on the deeds? This may impact on your advice on the drawdown (m2l/JR). If the late spouse is on the deeds this restriction may evidence a Will Trust.

3. Mortgages - it is amazing how many repaid charges remain on deeds and these take time to remove. Early sight of the deeds can give clients time to start the process of removing them. Also, often clients do not realise that personal loans have been registered as charges (typically Black Horse).

4. The deeds also evidence CCJs that clients may have forgotten about - these will need repaying/removing and can cause delays if not addressed early on, and indeed may impact on your calculations for clients borrowing.

5. Private charges/Legal Aid charges/Inheritance Tax charges will also be revealed and which will need attention.

6. With the deeds, it is also possible to obtain a plan to clarify what they own (and indeed what is to be charged/removed from their deeds).

7. The deeds will also show any address discrepancies, which again the lenders will want resolved prior to completion.

8. Finally, in relation to leasehold properties, the deeds will show how long is left on the lease and any restrictions relating to the lease on the deeds (i.e. consent to charge).

All of the above have the potential to cause delay and the sooner these are addressed the better. For a mere £3 (which I do not charge) the client journey can be made much easier.

If we can be of any assistance, or if you have any queries at any time, please do let us know.

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