We have no deeds for my parents’ house, what should we do?

Property Clinic: Your property questions and queries answered

Title deeds. Photograph: iStock

Title deeds. Photograph: iStock

 

My parents’ house was never registered and they cannot find their deeds. What is the best course of action?

When title deeds are lost it is usually possible to reconstitute the title by carrying out title searches. If the title is registered in the Land Registry this is straightforward as records can be obtained from it. If the title is registered in the Registry of Deeds is it not quite as straightforward but searches can be carried out and certified copies of memorials, which are evidence of the transactions, can be obtained from the Registry.

In your parents’ case if the deeds are lost and the title was never registered then it can be more difficult as no details will be registered with either the Land Registry or the Registry of Deeds. Your parents should talk to the solicitors who acted for them when they bought the house to see if they have any information. They should also check if the deeds are held by the bank if they ever had a mortgage.

If you can get copies of a neighbour’s title deeds they may be of assistance if the title is similar.

Failing any information being obtained at all from these sources, it is possible to get a lost title bond from an insurance company and a solicitor can advise on this. The cost of this bond will depend on the circumstances regarding the loss and non-registration of the title.

Suzanne Bainton is a Solicitor at Liston & Company

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