Vendors can’t find deeds of mother’s house and it is not registered

by Readers Question

15:41 PM, 13th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Vendors can’t find deeds of mother’s house and it is not registered

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Vendors can’t find deeds of mother’s house and it is not registered

Last August, after many years of searching, I found a house that I would love to live in, but the solicitor did not send me the papers to fill in until the end of August.lost

I heard no more until the end of Sept when I was informed that the probate had not been signed.

At the beginning of Oct it was the estate agent who telephoned the vendor’s solicitor who mentioned that the probate had now been signed. I was informed I should be in the house by Christmas.

Then last week I received an email mentioning that not only is the vendor’s solicitor still searching for the deeds, it is also an unregistered property. So advised me that it will take a while and perhaps better to look else where (put in other words).

I am an old lady and find this very difficult to understand how I have been treated.

Lisa



Comments

Lindsay Keith

8:48 AM, 14th October 2016
About 2 years ago

The Vendor's solicitor needs to see a competent conveyancer! This is not the first time such an event has happened. There are ways of plugging such a gap and a competent conveyancer will tell him what to do. I know of a property that was an 'ale house' in the 1860s, then a house and when it came for sale later the owner had to confess he had probably put the deeds in about 1890 on a big bonfire when he was clearing out rubbish. It got sorted.

Michael Freer

9:01 AM, 14th October 2016
About 2 years ago

That is quite a pickle, you must be feeling very anxious Lisa.

As Lindsay mentioned, there is (always) an answer, it comes down to two things, time and competence.

Maybe to get an idea of the time involved in resolving this you could ask the estate agent, or your solicitor, to determine how much experience the vendor's solicitor has of dealing with these situations. The answer will give you an indication of how long you will have to wait for the resolution.

Bear in mind you'll get an optimistic response so add at least 50% of the time indicated and then make a decision as to whether you are prepared to wait.

By indicating that you might withdraw from the deal if the timing is too long it may drive the vendor toward changing solicitor or having them engage someone who can speed things up.

Your feelings are probably because of the unknown that you are faced with. By understanding what is bothering you and taking action to resolve it, you will feel more relaxed.

It will resolve itself that is certain and you have a choice of how that will happen.

Stephen Smith

9:21 AM, 14th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi,

In the first instance, executors cannot sell until probate has been granted, this can take 3 months or more. They simply have to attend a probate hearing, swear an oath etc.
Secondly, it is for the seller to prove title, that the person, now deceased, owns the property. If the property is unregistered a chain of conveyances need to seen in order to establish title.
If nothing can be found, the executor should check the bank of the house owner and any other place it may be stored.
The Land Registry will be able to assist with registration and it may be the case that only a limited title or possessory title can be passed.
Your solicitor should properly advise.
The delay is probably due to the seller's representatives trying to locate the deeds since a thorough search would need to be made.
Keep going, these things take time!

Lisa Holman

11:12 AM, 14th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Thanks a lot Stephen, You have given me something to go by..
Although I have a dear nephew, who has a firm that specises in conveyancing, I did want to use him this time, as the last proerty I decided not to take up in the end. He has though informed my brother that it can take time for the Land Registry to sort it out as they have a lot to sort out at present..

What is annoying and confusing at my age, is not being kept up with what is going on, also I have been getting different stories of what is happening.
Today, I will be off to the estate agent again as I have now received an email from the solicitor, who,was recommended by the agent, but I feel she has not been keeping me informed with what is going on,, although she has no paper work from the vendor's solicitor yet.

I keep getting varous dates of when the probate has been signed. The latest one is from the estate agent yesterday, who has informed me it will be signed Friday next, after getting in touch with the vendor's solicitor. But I received the same reply from the vendor's solicitor two weeks ago, who then mentioned it had already been signed. So the agent the estate agent informed me that I will be in by Christmas.
Due to this time, I started to look around to see what I needed etc.

Then this week I received a letter from the solicitor informing me that, as I have the cash and want to proceed quickly, she advised me to purchase another property.
This was further destressing, so I got in touch with the agent again, this time the one I usually speak to was on holiday. The estate agent got hold of the vendor's solicitor again, this time he was informed that the probate will be signed on next Friday.

Unfortunatley, what does not help, while all this is going on, after my late husband passed away, I have been with my dear son, who works abroad and naturally also wants me to find my own property..

Many thanks again,

Lisa

Lisa Holman

11:32 AM, 14th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Freer" at "14/10/2016 - 09:01":

Thanks also Michael,

Trying to get an idea of the time is what I am doing now, but when you are given different dates at various times, who does one believe.
There were many after the property, so they have no fear if I drop out, although I am a cash buyer and,as I mentioned below, the solicitor has advised me to purchase another property, which was very upsetting after being informed that I will be in by Christmas. So I was beginning to look around for a few items, which all has stopped since reading this.

Excuse the bad English below, you can see how tiring this has been

Many things all,

Lisa

Lindsay Keith

11:50 AM, 14th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Seen the above.

1. Someone is not giving Mrs Holman good advice? Where is her own Solicitor? They are paid to sort these problems!

2. Probate is not 'signed'. The application forms are signed then submitted and the Probate is Granted by the local District Probate Registry.

3. A competent Conveyancer will know how to sort this in fairly short order.

4. I am a retired litigation and latterly probate and wills Solicitor. I never handled conveyancing but could not help seeing what sometimes passed by my way!

Michael Freer

12:07 PM, 14th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Lisa, maybe it is time to ask yourself a question, is this property actually meant to be mine, or is all this hassle guiding me toward finding another one as there is another property that will be better for me?

Only you can answer this question. Look to see this all as a learning experience rather than a tiring challenge. The same situation can be seen from many angles, some good, some bad, concentrating on a good one is a far more enjoyable experience.

If you are still uncertain, consider leaving the current conveyancing process alone, letting it make its own way, and meanwhile get back into house hunting and see what happens. You are a cash buyer so can dictate terms, "I want to move in on or before 14th December " (or a date that is your desire). If you find another property that is more attractive, drop the current one and move your focus. If the house hunting doesn't reveal something, the process will enable the current situation to resolve itself, after all a watched pot never boils.

Lindsay Keith

12:27 PM, 14th October 2016
About 2 years ago

As Michael Freer says, unless this is a 'must have', leave them in their mess and look elsewhere!

This time, employ a competent solicitor! And the best of luck.

Mandy Thomson

18:42 PM, 15th October 2016
About 2 years ago

I concur with Stephen Smith's advice - the property can be registered with a limited or possessory title (though ensure you have a proper understanding of what this means before you exchange) on the strength of statutory declarations. The title can be upgraded after a certain period provided no prior claim is made in the meanwhile.

For what it's worth, even when a conveyancing transaction is (supposedly) straightforward it often takes several months and one party will tell you one thing and another something else!


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