Lost deeds from 1956?

by Readers Question

13:50 PM, 8th August 2017
About A year ago

Lost deeds from 1956?

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Lost deeds from 1956?

A solicitor has been holding the deeds to my father in laws house since 1956. He has now moved into a nursing home so there is now a need to put it on the market and sell it.

However, it now turns out the solicitor could not find the deeds  and they say they gave them to a third party in 1978 who was negotiating a £3000 advance. This person cannot be found and solicitor has no proof of releasing Deeds.

Land registry will not give full title deeds only possessory title because of this and the solicitor refuses to except any responsibility for loss are there any other avenues other then taking legal action open to us.

Many thanks

Steve



Comments

Neil Patterson

13:56 PM, 8th August 2017
About A year ago

An exert fro .Gov >> https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/first-registration-of-title-where-deeds-have-been-lost-or-destroyed/practice-guide-2-first-registration-of-title-if-deeds-are-lost-or-destroyed

" 1. Introduction

You may apply for first registration of land if the title deeds have been lost or destroyed. HM Land Registry has special requirements and procedures for these applications, which are set out in this guide. Specific provisions regarding applications where title deeds have been lost or destroyed are contained in rule 27 of the Land Registration Rules 2003. If a possessory title is to be granted the requirements of section 9(5) of the Land Registration Act 2002, must be complied with.

You will need to give an account of the events that have resulted in the loss or destruction, which we will consider on its individual merit. However, we will probably grant only a possessory title where the evidence supplied does not establish those events and the history of the title beyond doubt. It is often more important to prove who held the deeds prior to their loss or destruction than to establish what they contained.

When the title deeds have been lost or destroyed we will sometimes ask a surveyor from Ordnance Survey to inspect the land before we complete the registration. A fee may be payable if an inspection is required.

Many of these applications relate to situations where the deeds (or some of them) have been lost or destroyed while in the custody of (or in the post from) a conveyancer, bank or building society. However, we will also consider applications where the loss or destruction has occurred in other circumstances. These may include the theft of deeds, or their destruction in a natural disaster or as a result of enemy action.
2. Making an application

You should apply for first registration using form FR1 and form DL and ensure the appropriate fee is lodged. Please refer to practice guide 1: first registrations for general information around the lodgment of first registrations.

In place of lodging the normal documentary title you will need to:

provide an account of the events that have led to the loss or destruction
reconstruct the title as best you can
supply evidence of identity of the applicant

We recommend that you use form ST3: Statement of truth in support of an application for registration of land based upon lost or destroyed title deeds to accompany form FR1 and form DL. This form sets out the framework for the information and evidence you will need to supply.

In line with our document handling policy only certified copies of form ST3, statutory declarations and other evidence should be lodged with your application. Once we have made scanned copies of the documents you send to us, they will be destroyed. This applies to both originals and certified copies.

Use of form ST3 is not obligatory, and using it will not guarantee that your application is successful, but it will help you to make sure that none of the requirements set out in detail below has been overlooked.

However, any statement of truth that meets the requirements of rule 215A of the Land Registration Rules 2003 will be acceptable, as will a statutory declaration. See Statement of truth.

As with any first registration application you have a duty to disclose certain types of overriding interest if they affect the land. Disclosure is particularly useful where title deeds have been lost or destroyed as interests, such as easements, that the estate owner knows affect the land may not be apparent from the reconstructed documentary title. practice guide 15: overriding interests and their disclosure contains information about which interests you should disclose and how to disclose them.

It is very important that HM Land Registry can identify the property you are applying to register on the Ordnance Survey map on receipt of the application (to comply with rule 24(1)(a) of the Land Registration Rules 2003). If we cannot do this we will reject the application. The reconstructed title may contain a plan capable of identifying the land on the Ordnance Survey map. If it does not and you think we may have difficulty identifying the property from a verbal description, you must supply a plan that will allow us to identify the land on the Ordnance Survey map. In general we will only regard verbal descriptions as suitable where:

they relate to postal addresses (other than flats or buildings where a cellar projects beyond the ground level boundary – in these cases you must supply a plan, rule 26(1) of the Land Registration Rules 2003)
the property is fully fenced and it is clear that all the curtilage forms part of the property

2.1 Account of events leading to the loss or destruction

HM Land Registry requires a full, factual account of the events that have occurred leading to the loss or destruction of the deeds and other matters relevant to the title. The person with the best knowledge of the particular matters described must give the account.

It follows that the account you supply may well consist of a number of statutory declarations, statements of truth or certificates by:

the applicant
one or more conveyancers
an official of a bank or building society

For example, where the deeds have been lost while in the custody of a bank and a conveyancer recently examined the title, the conveyancer should give a certificate or declaration as to title and an official of the bank should account for the loss.

Your account will need to establish:

who had possession of the deeds and where they were held when they were lost or destroyed
why the person in possession had custody of the deeds, eg were they held for safekeeping or as security for money owing or under a lien
when, where and how the loss or destruction occurred
what steps have been taken to recover the deeds
whether or not at the time of the loss the owner had created any mortgage, charge or lien on the property or deposited the deeds with any person, firm or body as security for money
whether the applicant is in occupation or in receipt of the rent and profits; see Evidence of possession
that the applicant is entitled to apply for registration as the legal estate is vested in them (or they have the right to require the legal estate to be vested in them); see Reconstruction of title

The account should be normally in the form of a statutory declaration or statement of truth. However, we will accept a certificate from a conveyancer or suitably authorised official of a bank or building society, giving an account of the loss or destruction of deeds that were in their custody. The conveyancer must sign the certificate personally, not in the name of a firm.

Any original statutory declarations or statements of truth will be scanned and destroyed under our document handling policy."

Steve Cornish

18:34 PM, 8th August 2017
About A year ago

Hi Neil

Thanks for your advice. The solicitor who was holding my father in laws deeds had admitted the deeds were logged out to a third party in 1978 but have no record of who this person was. So Land registry do not deem this as lost which is our problem for them not to give us full title deeds.

Steve

Neil Patterson

18:49 PM, 8th August 2017
About A year ago

Can the solicitors draw up some kind of indemnity insurance?

Steve Cornish

19:09 PM, 8th August 2017
About A year ago

Yes they can but it will come with possessory title but you will still have to own the property for 12 years to get full title deeds..will still people want to buy it at a fair price ??

Ian Narbeth

10:07 AM, 9th August 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Steve Cornish at 08/08/2017 - 18:34You say: "they say they gave them to a third party in 1978 who was negotiating a £3000 advance." Do you mean that the deeds were given to a creditor who lent £3000 to your father in law? (This used to be a way of "taking security" but is obsolete.) If the deeds were given to a creditor, follow the money. Can you find evidence of a loan or a repayment of it? Does your father in law have old bank statements? Did he make interest payments? If so, when did they stop? In theory the loan could still be outstanding.

Steve Cornish

12:15 PM, 9th August 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 09/08/2017 - 10:07Hi Ian

We have the address of a 3rd party who we assume was the lender and was based in Reading , contact was made via a letter but have had no response assume retired or passed away.
Good point about the loan still being outstanding been into his bank their not holding anything but informed us he banked with TSB prior to merger. Our next move will be to go in and see if we can get statements for that period but what if he paid in cash and how would it have been paid we are based in Plymouth .
We have to laugh father in law has dementia and only remembers his army number and the war. !!!!


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