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Can You Sell a House Without the Deeds?

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Can you sell a house without the deeds and what are they? Title deeds are the legal documents that record the ownership of a property and any accompanying land.

The deeds will show the full history of the property, including any mortgage secured on it. They are now held and transferred electronically and are an important part of the process of selling a house.

Let’s take a closer look.

What are title deeds?

Every time a property is bought and sold the title deeds are updated to show the new ownership.

The documents that make up the deeds include:

  • conveyancing documents
  • contracts for sale
  • wills
  • mortgages
  • leases
  • details of any restrictions on how a property can be used

Where are the paper deeds of your property?

The paper deeds for your property may be in the possession of:

  • You
  • A previous owner of your home
  • The solicitor you used to buy your home
  • A previous solicitor used to buy or sell your home
  • Your mortgage company

Getting the original deeds for a property can be a very difficult task.

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Does the Land Registry hold my title deeds?

Contrary to popular belief, HM Land Registry doesn’t store original paper deeds.

It normally scans the original deeds when a property is first registered and then returns the original to whoever lodged them. This is normally the conveyancing solicitor handling the property transaction.

HM Land Registry records are now all digital. You can obtain the Title Register and Title Plan from the Land Registry for a small fee.

Will the Land Registry have my property registered?

The first registration of property has been compulsory since December 1990. So, if you’ve sold, bought or remortgaged your property since 1990 then it will be registered.

If your home is registered at the Land Registry in your name, you don’t need paper copies of the deeds to sell it. Your solicitor will check the deeds at the Land Registry before starting the conveyancing process.

Do I need title deeds to sell my home?

You can sell your property without the deeds, but you will need to prove that you are the legal owner. This can become more complicated if your property is not registered with the land registry.

Your solicitor can register your property if it is not already.

It’s easiest to register your home if you can find the original deeds. You could try and track them down with the solicitor you used to buy your home or your mortgage lender.

If you can’t find them your solicitor will need to complete a Statement of Truth (ST3) form and provide evidence you own your property.

Evidence might include records of mortgage payments, bank statements, utility bills, buildings insurance policies, the electoral roll, and copies of contracts.

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Finding a good conveyancer is hugely important when buying and selling; they’ll carry out essential legal work. We can connect you with a member of our approved panel, all who work on a ‘no transaction, no fee’ basis. Get a conveyancing quote below.

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Last Updated: February 20th, 2022