This is an extract of our Unregistered Transactions document, which we sell as part of our Property Law and Practice Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students.
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Unregistered Transactions (deducing, investigating and reporting title) Deducing Title The seller's solicitor collates all of the title documents to be included in the epitome and examines them to insure the seller's ownership of the property is good, and that he is entitled to sell it. Which documents go into the epitome?
* The CONVEYANCE to the current seller (will be at least 15 years old as still unregistered - s.44 LPA).
Copies of any DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO IN THE ROOT OF TITLE (e.g. power of attorney document)
Copies of other DOCUMENTS RELATING TO LAND (e.g. deeds of easement, leases affecting the land etc.)
Copies of LEGAL MORTGAGES
Documents that DON'T need to go into the epitome include documents relating to equitable interests overreached on completion, copies of expired leases, pre-root documents etc.
Investigating Title The buyer's aims when investigating title are to identify the extent of the property, the rights benefiting the property, ensuring the seller has good title to the property (including the right to sell), identifying the extent of other people's rights and ensure the buyer can use the property for the intended purpose. Use the acronym SCRAPPED to investigate title with unregistered land: Searches Full name of owners
Period of ownership (from - to)
Correct search result already provided in epitome by seller?
Conveyance by owner completed within protection period?
Anyone in cover sheet of conveyance or mentioned inside.
Get from epitome.
Seller's solicitor often provides old search results.
If property sold before PP ends then you can rely on the searches as no more entries could have been made.
Be able to identify entry revealed in results.
If not, redo search.
W(O)B & P(A)B insolvency issues
Look for all names All estate owners since 1926 revealed.
If not there, use the earliest/latest possible dates the property could have been sold.
Check names spelt OK and the period of ownership correct. If not, redo search.
D(ii) land charge restrictive covenants
Co-ownership This will be an issue where two/more people buy and 1 person sells (usually a death).
BUYING FROM JOINT TENANTS: o
All of the joint tenants alive must execute the contract and purchase deed in order to pass the legal estate. If there is a sole surviving tenant the doctrine of survivorship applies.
In unregistered land the buyer is given protection by s.1 LP(Joint Tenants)A 1964 - i.e. it can assume that the tenancy hasn't been severed if the following are satisfied:
1. The buyer has a clear bankruptcy search against all joint tenants for their period of ownership (form K15). However, the CLC search will include a bankruptcy search so just check no charges come up.
2. There is no memorandum of severance on the conveyance
3. In the purchase deed to the new buyer, the surviving joint tenant sells as beneficial owner or as 'solely legally and beneficially entitled'.
Must get an official copy of death certificate
BUYING FROM TENANTS IN COMMON: o
All tenants alive must execute
If there is a sole surviving tenant a second trustee must be appointed to overreach any beneficial interest. Ask for official copies of a death certificate and a deed of appointment of second trustee.
Root of title
* You must always start by finding a 'good root' of title.
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