Can you sell a house without deeds?

can you sell a house without deeds

Are you trying to sell a property but having trouble finding your title deeds? What happens if you can’t find your deeds, can you still sell your house?

The answer is, without the deeds, you will not be able to prove you own the property and as a result, you will not be able to sell it.

Your buyer’s solicitor will, of course, be looking for official documentation to prove you actually own the property. The same applies if you sell a home for either yourself or on behalf of another person, such as a family member.  

Unfortunately, you may not be able to find the deeds or they may never have been given to you in the first place. If this is the case, then you may need to play detective in order to get your hands on them. Where do you start?

How to sell a house when you’ve lost your title deeds.

If you want to sell a property in the UK, your Conveyancing Solicitor will first check at the Land Registry to see if the property is registered. This is actually something you can do yourself if you prefer.

If the property is registered, the Land Registry will hold official copies of all the documents that you need to sell the property. Copies will then be provided, very quickly, for a very small fee.  

Be careful, there are lots of companies posing online as the “official” government department. They simply do the job on your behalf and then charge you for the privilege.

So, if you want to do it yourself, you need to go to the official .gov website. Follow this link to go to the official government website.

Each document will cost you around £7.00 but note that there may be more than one document required which will push the price up slightly.

What happens if the Land Registry doesn’t have your house listed in their system?

If the property is not registered at the Land Registry life does get a bit more complicated, but it’s not the end of the world. Unregistered properties are not uncommon although they are gradually reducing each year.

There are still several actions that you can take to investigate where proof of ownership documents might be hiding. This is often a bit of an investigative task when you are dealing with the estate of a deceased relative. A “Grant of Probate” gives you the power to act but it does not prove that the property was ever owned by the deceased.

So the starting point is to look into any previous mortgages, current mortgages, old wills and leases, bank accounts, building societies and previous solicitors. Any of these may be holding the deeds on your behalf.

If you find some mortgage documentation, contact your Conveyancing Solicitor – they can be instrumental in helping facilitate communication with banks and lenders. Was the property left in someone’s Will? If so, comb through those documents in their entirety. If the Will doesn’t contain the title deeds, you can still follow up with those involved with the creation of the Will, like accountants and law groups, to see if they have it in their records.

If all of this fails to deliver any proof of ownership you will need to make an application to the Land Registry to re-construct the title for the property.

The Land Registry will want to establish what has happened to the house deeds and what steps you’ve taken to locate them (writing to solicitors, banks, building societies etc). Your evidence will need to be supported by a statement of truth. For this, you will Form ST3 which is available on the Land Registry website. This is a really useful form which details all the information and evidence that you will need to accompany your application.

Can you sell a house without deeds? How we can help you find your title deeds.

Of course, we are not saying for a moment that this is the easiest job in the world. We do this every day so if you want a bit of help please give us a call. At Select & Build we can help you explore many different routes to take when looking for the proper documents regarding your upcoming sale. 

We pride ourselves on being conscientious and eager to help our clients and deliver exceptional service. Give us a call today on 01273 068199.

Contact us anytime here: https://www.selectandbuild.co.uk/contact-us/

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