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Freehold Unregistered Land Notes

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Freehold Unregistered Land Revision

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Core Module: PLP

Freehold Un-Registered Land Pre-exchange searches and enquiries (Buyer's solicitor)

1. Index Map search

Form S.I.M + large scale plan + Fee

Send to Land Registry

No priority period however

Results reveal whether land is already registered, or is subject to a pendi application or caution against first registration.

2. K15 - Land Charges Search to Land Charges Department in Plymouth. Search against relevant estate owners for relevant period of ownership.

The person owning the land with the BENEFIT of the incumbrance should ha registered the land charge against the name of the person owning the land with BURDEN in the incimbrance.

Provides Priority period of 15 working days within which to complete transaction.

Land Charges Registry set up in 1926 - so don't search further back than this date.

Even if there is a death - search beyond date of death

3. CPSEs (Commercial Property Standard Enquiries)

4. All other searches (same as registered land):



Drainage & water


Pre-contract enquiries to seller

Investigation of title Good Root of Title

Contract should specify what document is to form the root of title.

S.44 LPA 1925 - root of title must:

Be at least 15 years old

Deal with and / or show who owns the whole legal & equitable interest being sold to curr owner.

Contain recognizable description of the land

Do nothing to case doubt on the seller's title. 1

Core Module: PLP Examples:

Conveyance on sale Legal Mortgage Deed of gift Assent of land to beneficiary under the will.

Root of title cannot be: a) Grant of probate (this transfers INTEREST in land - but won't identify the deceased's estate.

Top Tip: Therefore what is the most convenient root of title to choose? Select the latest root that is at le 15 years old - easier to get an unbroken chain of ownership. [the most recent document which satisfies 4 requirements of a good root of title.

Buyers are bound by matters revealed by a title beginning with the good ROOT, but NO by matters that would have been revealed by an earlier root. If buyer accepts a "short root" - buyer risks being bound by earlier conveyances. This risky / dangerous as he wont know what he is bound by.

Epitome of title: [part of "deducing title" process in conveyance transaction]

Provided by seller's solicitor. Lists documents (from root of title onwards to present d which affects ownership of the land. List is set out in chronological order. Copies of conveyances are attached (not originals) 'Good Root' checklist (is there unbroken chain of ownership from root to current owner)

Documents relevant for Epitome Documents which need NOT be included

Conveyances on sale and by gift

documents of record - e.g death &

Deaths marriage certificates

expired leases

Grants of representation to

documents which pre-date root o deceased's owners' estates

Changes of name of estate owners title



Discharge of legal mortgages

Things to consider: 1

a) Root of title [see above]

b) Link in the chain

Unbroken chain of ownership [beginning with seller in root document and ending with present seller. There must be no apparent break in the chain. If chain is broken the title will be defective.

Are there any defects in the title = this will adversely affect the interests of buyer lender. [e.g. on equitable]

Links in the chain - require documentary evidence of: a) Every change of ownership b) Change of names of owners [marriage certificate]


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