Can You Still Sell A House Without Title Deeds?

Written by Mathew McCorry

If you read my property blog now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will make you read it.

Are you looking at selling your home? You might be curious as to what certificates you may need to sell the property. In this scenario we go through title deeds and whether you need them to sell your home or whether you can get away without them.

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What are title deeds?

Title deeds are the official paper documents that show the chain of ownership of a property or land. They can include house repayments, leases, contracts for sale, wills and conveyances.

Digital copies of the originals are registered with HM Land Registry before being returned to the person who lodged them. This is usually the solicitor or conveyancer acting on behalf of a buyer.

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Do You Need The Deeds To Sell A House?

In order to sell your property, you must either have the original deeds or know that they have been digitally registered with HM Land Registry in your name. Things become more complicated if you’re selling an unregistered property, especially if you are selling it on behalf of someone else i.e. a relative.

What If You Don't Have Your Title Deeds?

If you own a property & never received your title deeds then you should contact whoever acted on your behalf and get them returned to you. In some cases, the people who sold the property to you may still have the deeds. There’s no legal requirement for a seller to hand over deeds, however most solicitors or conveyancers, acting on a buyer’s behalf, will get these for you as part of their service.

If you contact HM Land Registry then they can let you know whether your property is registered with them or not. If it is then you don’t need paper copies of the deeds. If it isn’t registered then you will need to submit the original deeds in order to get your property registered on their systems. This is why, if you have the originals, they are particularly important.

You should however always make sure that you have a copy of the property deeds, as a property owner, because they include things that won’t be kept digitally by HM Land Registry, such as previous owners or legal boundaries.

Lost Deeds & No Land Registry Record

You've lost the deeds, contacted HM Land Registry & you've found out the property isn't registered in your name, what can you do?

Essentially you will need to locate the missing deeds, and there are a few steps you should consider to do this:

  1. If you have a house repayments on the property you can get your conveyancers to write to the lender in order to recieve the deed pack, you will however need to supply them with your details and house repayments account number.

  2. If you've previously had a house repayments that has been repaid you still might be able to retrieve the details from the house repayments company as some lenders retain deeds.

  3. It's quite a common occurance that the title deeds are placed with the owners Will, contact anyone who might have access to the Will documents such as a local law firm or accountant.

  4. Search the property high and low. The title deed should have come as a bundle of documents when the house was first purchased, see if you can track any of these down in the property itself.

Still struggling? There are other options but they are long and drawn out, you should only resort to them if you've exhausted all other avenues. Your other option would be Reconstitution of Title with the Land Registry which involves applying for new deeds basically.

How we can help

Here at The Property Buying Company, we have over 50 years' combined experience within the property market. Our advisors are on-hand to answer any queries you may have about selling your property and what documentation you need to provide. If you want to sell your property quickly then we can offer a fair cash sum and a completion date to suit you. Get in touch with The Property Buying Company today to find out more.

No title deeds? We can help

Get an offer

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