First time property buyers and even some experienced property buyers can be confused about what the report on title really represents.
To the uninitiated, a first scan of a report on title can leave them somewhat bewildered by what various terms and phrases mean. Furthermore, given that no two properties are the same, even buyers with previous knowledge can still find themselves feeling clueless.
Although any decent solicitor will elaborate on issues that arise in the report on title and explain what they mean in practical terms for buyers, that is not the end of the report’s usefulness.
If, after the purchase is completed, problems arise because they were missed in the report or because mistakes were made, the report on title is what keeps the solicitor on the hook.
What Should the Report on Title Tell a Buyer?
As the name suggests, the report on title tells the buyer about the legal title to the property, including whether it is registered or unregistered. Most property is now registered at the Land Registry which means that title is guaranteed.
Registered titles are made up of three parts which set out different aspects of the legal title:
· The Property Register – this describes the property and any rights benefiting the property.
· The Proprietorship Register – this tells you who owns the property.
· The Charges Register – reveals if there are any mortgages or other rights that adversely affect the property.
The report on title will draw attention to the details of the registers and specify any issues that might be relevant. These might include restrictions on the property for example. A plan of the property should normally be included too.
The report on title will refer to searches that have been carried out and reveal any unusual results that need to be considered. Standard enquiries should also have been raised with the seller and unexpected responses followed up with further enquiries. Again, any unusual issues revealed by the seller should have attention drawn to them in the report. In either case the solicitors should be able to advise the buyer on how to proceed.
As a property buyer and a as client of your solicitor or licensed conveyancer, the report on title goes to the very core of their duties, obligations and liability. If solicitors or licensed conveyancers get it wrong, clients can rely on the report on title to make a complaint or even a referral to the Legal Ombudsman.
In serious cases the report on title can provide the basis of a compensation claim against the firm in question. If you have experienced negligent advice contact Peter Gourri today by email PGourri@rollingsons.co.uk or telephone 0207 611 4848.