Monday, April 15, 2013

Why it is important to ensure your property deeds are secure

Brought to you by our friends at Stephens Scown

With fraud on the increase it is vitally important to ensure that your property deeds are in order to avoid any issues. Believe it or not houses have been sold by tenants without the legal owner/landlord realising and a recent case reported in the press showed this. The Land Registry has introduced anti-fraud measures to try and combat this. There are however some additional measures you may want to think about and put into place:-
  • -        If your property isn’t already registered then consider having it registered with the Land Registry.  This would mean you would have an electronic record of who owns the property and takes away the worry of having paper deeds that could potentially be mislaid, stolen or destroyed. 
  • -        If a property is registered, it is important to ensure that your name and contact address as owner are kept up to date.  The address on the registered title will be the address the Land Registry will use to contact you regarding the property. In addition, once a property is registered, the Land Registry are guaranteeing the title to the property. One benefit of this is that if someone becomes a victim of fraud, leading to the title to the property wrongfully changing, then they may be entitled to claim compensation from the Land Registry. If the contact details on the title aren’t up to date then any claim for such compensation may be reduced. You can have more than one contact address and even have an email address on the title.
  • -        Even if your property is registered, there is a further step you can take to combat fraud. A note can be put on the title requiring the conveyancer dealing with any transaction such as a transfer , sale or mortgage to certify that the person signing any documentation purporting to be the owner of the property, is the same person as the proprietor on the title. The fee for this is currently £40.00 but where the owner does not live at the property, this can be applied of free of charge.
Stephens Scown Solicitors in Exeter, Truro and St Austell are one of the largest law firms in Devon and Cornwall offering personal, business and specialist legal advice. For more information please visit

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