14 December 2010 by Sarah Davies

Conveyancing Masterclass

When we talk about the deeds to a house many people think about reams of old papers and stacks of documents, the reality is generally much more simple. The vast majority of properties now are comprised in what is known as ‘registered land’, this means that there is a central record held at the Land Registry for each property as a sort of condensed version of the important bits from the previous bundles of documents.

The Land Registry was established in 1862 and is responsible for publicly recording ‘interests’ or ownership of land. As time has gone by, and various Land Registration Acts have been passed, the aim has been to have all land in England and Wales registered. Approximately 75% of land is currently registered, however, this figure will gradually rise, as today, if any unregistered land is sold, it has to be registered by the new owner and this is compulsory. Only 16.96% of land in Greater London is currently unregistered as opposed to some 53.46% in Torbay and 38.95% in Wrexham.

If your property is registered then it will have its own register which is held electronically at the Land Registry. This record is open to public inspection and has a unique reference or ‘title number’. Each register also has its own title plan showing the extent of the registered land. All registers contain three basic pieces of information:-

1) A description of the property / land i.e. the full address along with a reference to how it is shown on the title plan for example “as shown edged in red on the plan”. This part of the register is known as the Property Register.

2) Who owns the land or the ‘registered proprietor’ – this can be an individual, a company, a trust etc. You must be aged 18 or over to be the registered proprietor of land. This is known as the Proprietorship Register.

3) Whether there are any ‘charges’ or ‘mortgages’ on the land or whether the land is affected by any covenants i.e. restrictions of obligations by which an owner will be bound. This is called the Charges Register.

This is a very basic overview of what is contained in a register as each title is different, some may be only a page long whereas others may be very detailed and contain lots of other relevant information affecting the land.

The principle behind having a register for land is so that it is the sole and definitive source of information for prospective purchasers also so that there is a record which accurately reflects all the facts which are relevant to the title. This has led to it being much harder for claims of adverse possession to be made as clear records of ‘who owns what’ are held. A further benefit of having registered land is that the title is guaranteed by the Land Registry, this means that if, as a result of human error, the title is proved to be defective in any way, then the person suffering loss as a result is able to claim compensation.

Before you rush to throw away any papers you may have tucked away for your home, however, please let them be checked first by a solicitor as they may still contain relevant information. Problems caused by missing documents when trying to sell can be a headache as well as a costly and time consuming exercise.

14 December 2010 by Vincent Billings

Liquidated damages off a ducks back

Liquidated damages clauses in commercial contracts provide for the payment of a specified amount by a party who is in breach of contract, to the other party. Such clauses are enforceable if the amount stated in the contract is a genuine pre-estimate of the loss suffered by the other party.

14 December 2010 by Yezdan Izzet

Third Party Guarantees and what you need to know

It is common on the grant of a commercial lease for the tenant’s obligations to be guaranteed by a third party (known as a guarantor) especially where the tenant is a company as the landlord may require the Directors to act as guarantor of the tenants obligations or where there is a long commercial lease (usually above 5 years).

Signup To Our Weekly e-News

"*" indicates required fields

We’ll never share your details with any third party in line with our privacy policy.