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Ask The Legal Expert: Where Are My Deeds?

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In this week’s Ask The Legal Expert blog, we get the latest specialist advice from our Property team:

I want to sell my house, but where are my deeds?

When you originally bought your house, after successfully being registered as the new owner of the property, it may have come as a surprise to be told that you did not acquire a bundle of old musty deeds to prove ownership.  Most deeds are destroyed by the Land Registry when a property is first registered.

What you probably received was a one/two page copy of the official property register dated at the time of completion of the application (the date you completed your house purchase).

Now that you are ready to sell your property and move on, a more up-to-date copy of the register would need to be obtained from the Land Registry and your conveyancing Solicitor will do this for you.

If however the old pre-registration deeds do happen to be available, it is possible that the previous owner will have handed them over to you on completion of your purchase, albeit that they will have no intrinsic value.

On occasion, I have asked the Land Registry to return the deeds to me after first registering a property with an interesting set of deeds; for example, when dealing with a property which has been in a family for many generations and so forming part of someone’s family history or (a rare delight) when there are deeds which include a plan giving field names which is a priceless piece of local history.  

The question posed in this blog is based on a hypothetical situation.

For further advice, please contact our specialist Property solicitors in:

  • Swansea: 01792 773773
  • Cardiff: 02920 225472
  • Carmarthen: 01267 234022
  • Caerphilly: 02920 860628
  • Cowbridge: 01446 771742
  • Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
  • Fishguard: 01348 873671