When it comes to ownership and management of property, the most important document you'll have your hands on is the title. This indicates legal ownership for any individuals named in the document, making it an essential piece of paperwork for a variety of actions one might want to make regarding the indicated property.
Whether you are inheriting land or going through the conveyance of property, it's important to be prepared for any possible problems that you might face. This way, you don't get caught with a roadblock you aren't equipped to handle.
If a deed is missing for an unregistered property, legal actions are going to be restricted. The person in possession of the property can't sell it or give it away. An executor or a buyer can't redeem the property either.
Even a homeowner who wants to make major renovations or repairs on their property may run into some trouble when getting licenses in order.
If you think that the title is missing, you must check with the court first before filing a case to compel the property owner to issue their deed. Any solicitors involved may try to make a case of ownership if enough evidence is put together.
Although it is not always a lost cause, this can be a pretty gruelling process. Plus, this doesn't even take into account any possible claims from other individuals that want ownership of the property in question.
In some instances, even registered properties can face conveyancing problems if the deed is missing. The conflict comes from any stipulations in the registration that require the deed for confirmation.
This problem is actually one of the rarer problems you'll come across, but it is still a possibility. This puts the landowner in a pretty problematic position, especially if they have to go through a government land transaction.
More often than not, this happens because of long-term ownership. During the many years that the land has been under the same possession, there may have been a failure to get the necessary paperwork done.
Sometimes, titles aren't registered simply because the initial owner didn't apply to get the land registered in the first place.
Of course, this doesn't spell immediate doom. It is proven over and over again that just because a piece of property is not registered with the local land registry, it doesn't mean that the land is untraceable.
Conveyancing can be slowed down by this issue, so it's best to get things remedied with Her Majesty's Land Registry. You can get assistance in tracing any previous registration, or you can apply for the first registration.
Undisclosed Right of Way
At the time of a property conveyance, it can happen that the buyer and seller are both unaware of any right of way that might run through the property.
This usually happens when rights of way were created prior to the properties being built or when the properties being transferred have been subdivided from a larger property. In some cases, it's a matter of right of way being created before the land had any ownership.
You can end up facing issues if you go against any established rights of way, even if you were previously unaware of them. At the very least, it's a headache to deal with any sudden changes or adjustments.
One way to figure out if this problem might affect you is to request a search from the local land registry. You might also have to speak to the actual owners of the land parcels you're concerned about.
If you have any neighbouring properties, you can also ask them for any evidence that can bring some enlightenment to the situation.
Lack of a Property Owner
Prior to issuing a deed, it is required by law that the property owner does a search on the property. The owner must make a list of anyone who might be able to claim ownership of the property.
Naturally, a lack of a living owner that can claim the title will pose some issues here. Although it is usually a problem that can be easily fixed, it can also lead to a number of unexpected hitches and delays.
The first thing to do here is to make sure the last known owner has stated who the property will be transferred to. Requesting the details on their last will is part and parcel here. Any said beneficiary will then be in charge of any changes in ownership.
If the deceased owner has not stated any individual or they don't have a last will and testament, then there will have to be a search for legally eligible next of kin.
If there is truly no identifiable owner of the property, it is possible to ask the court to issue an order of possession to declare the property vacant. However, this renders your goal to get the title even harder as most properties acquired by the government face condemnation. Though lengthy, make sure any title you're interested in has a living person that can transfer rights to you.
Mistakes in Paperwork
Typos, inaccuracies, and damage, you name it. There are many errors that a document can face over the years. When it comes to something like a property title, though, any inconsistencies can spell trouble.
Fortunately, certain mistakes can be altered legally. Any property owner can apply to have errors in their titles amended. This applies to any change in legal rights and interests, incorrect information, typographical mistakes, and updating the registry.
Of course, this isn't automatically a go. The application for any rectifications will still need to be approved for changes to reflect legally.
The more significant issue is if there are essential details just missing from the title. In this case, you may face problems when dealing with older property concerns and new legislation since the initial registration. This would require more research to find other proof of ownership or any missing information.
It's not uncommon to come across problems due to clerical errors. So, it's best that you learn these possible mistakes and work with your solicitor on how to address them when they come up.
It's best to consider these possible snags even when you're still surveying potential properties. If you leave it for later, you may find yourself with extra conveyancing costs and lost time.
Title problems can sometimes stem from other issues, so make sure to look at the whole picture to understand the issue in question. Be mindful of your paperwork and legal processes to make getting your title a smoother process.
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