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HCR Law Events

12 December 2022

Lost deeds, reconstructed title: applying to HM Land Registry

Imagine you have come to market to sell your home or that of your loved one but… you cannot find the deeds. You know that you must have them or left them in the care of your bank or other trusted party, but they are no longer held. What if they were those old papers at the back of the cupboard you emptied into the bin last month?

Now, you cannot prove you own your home – but not to fear, your title to the property can be reconstructed by way of an application to HM Land Registry. But how? What does it involve?

First, to make sure the application goes smoothly, you should contact a trusted conveyancing or property solicitor to handle the application for you. They will give you the guidance that you need. When doing this you will need to prove that you have been in possession of the property. This could be proved through be photocopies of the deeds, official post to the property such as bank statements or council tax and supporting Statements of Truth in the applicable HM Land Registry forms.

When your application is submitted to HM Land Registry they will want to see lots of evidence spanning the years you or your loved ones were in the property. Once the application is received back by your conveyancer you should have a registered title. This may be Possessory Title, which is a lesser class or quality of title than if you had still held the originals deeds, but this can be upgraded at HM Land Registry after a period of 12 years uninterrupted use.

If you are selling the property, a buyer may want indemnity insurance and a solicitor can arrange for a suitable policy to be put in place. This is especially applicable when it is the house itself or a building or access to the house which is held as Possessory Title.

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About the Author
Alexander Small, Chartered Legal Executive, Residential Property

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