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How to deal with an unregistered property

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Many properties in England and Wales are registered at HM Land Registry. Occasionally you'll find out the house you are purchasing is unregistered or need to sell a property that you know is unregistered.

It's important to deal with solicitors who can deal with the conveyancing of both registered and unregistered properties, whether you are buying or selling.

Land registry solicitors if you are selling an unregistered property

  • You will need to let your solicitor know where the unregistered deeds are.
    • If the property is in mortgage, the unregistered deeds should be with the lender.
    • If the property is not in mortgage, the deeds may be with another firm of solicitors/conveyancers.
  • If you do not know where the deeds are, you will need to find out who last held them. If they were held by a firm of solicitors/conveyancers, your solicitors who are handling the conveyancing can write to that firm to see whether they still hold the deeds.
  • If the deeds cannot be found, your solicitor can obtain copies of any documents from the archives to the former West Riding Deeds Registry. Be aware that this process can be costly!
  • The copies of the relevant deeds are sent on to your buyer’s solicitors/conveyancers with the draft contract and other papers.
  • Your buyer’s solicitors/conveyancers will check the title and will raise any relevant queries.

Land registry solicitors if you are buying an unregistered property

  • Your solicitor will check the title documents supplied by your seller’s solicitors/conveyancers and will raise any relevant queries.
  • If any documents are missing, your solicitor will asking for missing information indemnity insurance.
  • Your solicitor will register your title at HM Land Registry after completion.

Extra costs involved when purchasing an unregistered properties

The Land Registry fee for “first registrations” is twice as much as their fee for dealing with registered titles. The Land Registry normally takes longer to complete “first registration” applications than applications relating to titles that are already registered.

You need to be aware that there is more legal work involved in selling or buying an unregistered property therefore be prepared to expect conveyancing fees to reflect the cost of this work.

It is wise to find an experienced solicitor who has knowledge of the land registry process and how best to advise you on your sale or purchase.

To discuss the sale or purchase of an unregistered property, please speak to our award winning, recommended conveyancing team on 0113 218 5455 or email conveyancing@winstonsolicitors.co.uk today.

We would just like to say a big thank you to Leasa and Julie for all their help completing a most challenging property sale. Their professionalism and tenacity ensured there was a positive conclusion and made a difficult experience less painful. We are more than happy to use them again.

Miss Yau 5*

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