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What Are Title Deeds? A Buyer’s Guide

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Title Deeds Are The Record Of A Property And Land’s Ownership

If you’re ready to buy a property in Whitstable, it’s important to be aware of the importance of title deeds. While most prospective buyers have heard about title deeds, a surprising number of people are not sure what they are or where to find them.

The team at Spiller Brooks Estate Agents have put together this article, so you can gain a better understanding of what title deeds are, why they matter, and whether or not you should purchase a home without title deeds.

What Are Title Deeds – An Overview

First, let’s take a look at what title deeds are.

Essentially, a property’s title deeds are the record of a property and land’s ownership. While it may sound as if there is just a single document involved, in fact, any home’s title deeds may comprise several different documents to not only prove who is the current owner of the property but also to show the home’s entire ownership history.

Title deeds documentation may include any or all of the following:

  • Leases
  • Wills
  • Mortgages
  • Contracts for sale
  • Conveyances

Is It Legal To Sell A Property That Has No Title Deeds?

There is no law to prevent a seller from selling their property without having the title deeds in place, but that doesn’t mean that the process will be a straightforward one.

Usually, sellers who don’t have title deeds for their property obtain possessory title deeds instead. These are given if there is no way to definitively prove the Absolute Title (an unequivocal right of ownership to the property), which is why it is also known as a perfect title. Buyers will have the peace of mind of knowing that the property they are purchasing is free of any legal weaknesses. in cases where the original title deeds have either been damaged or lost, for example, in a flood or fire. In some cases, sellers may provide a statutory declaration to the buyer (and the buyer’s mortgage lender).

Attempting to sell a property with no Absolute Title to hand may often result in the process being long and drawn out which may be inconvenient for the buyer, however, it’s possible that the property may be sold at a lower price due to this inconvenience and the potential risks that the buyer will be taking.

Should I Buy A Property That Has No Title Deeds?

Technically, although it’s possible to purchase a property that has no title deeds, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. If you buy a property that has no title deeds, you’re taking a significant risk. While every property purchase comes with some risky elements, if you purchase a property that has no title deeds, you must bear caveat emptor (buyer beware) in mind.

You must be completely certain that your conveyancer knows what they’re doing, and be willing to pay more for the additional work that they’ll need to do to make sure that everything is legal and above board before exchanging contracts. If you decide to go ahead with buying a property that has no title deeds, you should also ask that indemnity insurance is included to cover you for any restrictive covenants that may be unclear.

If you’re interested in buying a property in Whitstable that has no title deeds, it’s important to get expert advice. Contact our team at Spiller Brooks Estate Agents on 01227 272155 or by email info@spillerbrooks.co.uk to find out more.