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  • FIRST POST
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 24th Feb 17, 8:48 AM
    • 40Posts
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    dizzybee001
    Deeds not transferred on leasehold garage, owner missing!
    • #1
    • 24th Feb 17, 8:48 AM
    Deeds not transferred on leasehold garage, owner missing! 24th Feb 17 at 8:48 AM
    Hi, sorry this is really long and complicated.
    I am hoping someone can give me some honest advice.
    I bought a townhouse 5 years ago with a garage under a coach house. At the time I was not told that the garage was leasehold, and it never occurred to me to ask. My solicitor sent back queries to the sellers solicitor as there was a clause in the land registry contract? for the house about it not being able to be sold without the leasehold of the apartment. The sellers solicitor came back with the answer that it 'must be an error as the house is freehold'.
    I have had sole use of the garage, have never been asked for any contribution for any insurance, etc. Neither has my neighbour who owns a garage in the same block.
    It's only now that I want to sell my house, that I have discovered that the garage is indeed leasehold and there should be a separate land registry document for it. I have looked through all the correspondence from my solicitor and the original contract between Persimmon and the original buyer shows the draft leasehold contract and draft land registry document.
    I have got in touch with my solicitors firm (the solicitor that dealt with my purchase has now left), and they have discovered that the land registry certificate for the garage was never transferred from the original owner to my seller.
    There have been three owners of the house - the 1st bought the house new
    Then the second was my seller.
    So, the garage needs to be registered into my name, as the house is.
    This is my problem. I am in touch with the original owner, and he has agreed to sign whatever is necessary to transfer the leasehold to me. Unfortunately though, his ex-partner who co owned the house with him has vanished, it was an ugly split and she has disappeared, even if we did manage to find her it is unlikely that she will sign the forms.
    So, will both original owners need to sign the Transfer form, bearing in mind that that there is this clause in the land registry for the freehold house that the house cannot be sold without the garage, so there was full intention for them to sell both together? Or can just one of them sign it over to me?
    What do I tell any buyers if I sell my house?
    How long could this take to sort out?
    Thanks, I know that was very long I am so so worried about this as I have found a new house and just want this sorted!
Page 2
  • Land Registry
    dizzybee - there are no fixed timescales for this type of thing as each situation has to be treated on merit and as you can see from other posters every situation is different.

    To transfer the legal ownership you invariably need a legal deed, namely a deed executed and dated which then transfers the title.
    Where one of the legal owners cannot be traced then it can be a case of applying to the court to act in their place. This normally happens where they are missing assumed dead so vanished/disappeared needs to be explained and what efforts have been made to trace clarified and evidence produced.

    kirtondm's example is unusual in my experience as in all cases it is about risk and how large that is and who bears that risk. If the solicitor confirmed things as suggested then that may have been accepted as minimalising the risk as they were taking the responsibility. Not all may do that so I would treat that as your best case scenario.

    The issue you have is that you are a few more solicitors/sellers/buyers on from that scenario so getting one of them to shoulder that risk may be an issue.

    Those involved may 'faff' around but there are legal requirements involved and as you appreciate ultimately the responsibility for checking that the registered details match what you think you are buying rests with both you and your solicitor. Solicitors won't visit the property themselves so the Q of is it as you expect is one for the buyer to ponder and confirm. If uncertain then that's when you raise it with your solicitor to clarify/confirm. That isn't faffing around either though.

    The faff here I imagine will be your solicitor contacting the previous solicitor(s) and waiting for any responses before deciding on next steps. The previous solicitors/sellers may not be as quick to try to respond/help as you might like.

    The ultimate goal of course is to get the registered title changed. We won't consider the circumstances/evidence until an application is made. Your solicitor will be aware of that

    I hope you are able to resolve this quickly but do rely on your solicitor here. And do update us re what happens next be that trying to trace the other owner or making an application or any other scenario
    Last edited by Land Registry; 01-03-2017 at 8:02 AM.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Land Registry. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 1st Mar 17, 9:08 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Hi and thank you for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it.
    When I checked the (very feint) plan I thought the garage was part of it. Looking at the correspondence now my solicitor did make enquiries about the garage but it wasn't followed up. No excuse but I was a single mum moving by myself to a new area and with trying to get the kids into new schools and dealing with a very demanding buyer and packing up my house I left it in the hands of the solicitor. I just assumed it was all sorted; that was my naivety and lesson learned.

    I'm hoping that my solicitor can find a solution quickly but I know that the probability is that I won't be able to buy the property that I want as there will be too long a delay in sorting this out. I am so cross this this wasn't discovered by my solicitor, as there is no financial loss I don't think there's any point in taking action but I don't see why I should suffer at the hands of two careless solicitors (my sellers solicitors didn't do the searches properly when she bought the property either). I've looked at the paperwork my solicitor sent me after I moved and if contains details of the lease.

    Would now be good time to find out if the coachhouse is insured properly by the landlord of the flat? I'm not sure how I'd go about this as the flat is rented out by a management company. Also I'm not clear who is the landlord, on the draft lease I've discovered it's the house builder, but would they have transferred to the person who bought the flat?

    Thanks again for your help and I'll keep you posted.
  • Land Registry
    dizzybee - fortunately this type of thing is a very rare occurence but can happen. We can't help re the insurance aspect I'm afraid
    Last edited by Land Registry; 19-05-2017 at 4:33 PM. Reason: Email address removed
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Land Registry. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 2nd Mar 17, 8:18 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    dizzybee - fortunately this type of thing is a very rare occurence but can happen. We can't help re the insurance aspect but if you want to email us at customer.service@landregistry.co.uk with the specific details re title(s) and address we can at least try to help unravel the FH/LH scenario for you

    I'll edit out the email details once email received or you post otherwise
    Originally posted by Land Registry representative

    Hi, that's great thank you. I will try and email later.
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 2nd Mar 17, 8:51 AM
    • 150 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    kirtondm
    I also had solicitor problems - Although It was 2/12 to sort from when I knew my solicitors knew at the start of the process 4/12 previous and I lost one buyer whilst still not being made aware.


    They were desperately trying to track down the previous owners for 2/12 before I found out from my estate agent via my buyers solicitor what the problem was.


    The problem was although I had agreed and signed off the garage on the the plans the original solicitor amended the paperwork and stuck the garage off whilst registrating the property.


    As you can imagine I was pretty annoyed at the time
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 2nd Mar 17, 9:02 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    I also had solicitor problems - Although It was 2/12 to sort from when I knew my solicitors knew at the start of the process 4/12 previous and I lost one buyer whilst still not being made aware.


    They were desperately trying to track down the previous owners for 2/12 before I found out from my estate agent via my buyers solicitor what the problem was.


    The problem was although I had agreed and signed off the garage on the the plans the original solicitor amended the paperwork and stuck the garage off whilst registrating the property.


    As you can imagine I was pretty annoyed at the time
    Originally posted by kirtondm
    I am sure we will lose the buyer, although we are at the start of the process so fingers crossed.


    Question - do I get a new solicitor for the sale of my property whilst getting my old solicitor to sort out their mess, or do I instruct the old ones as they have all the details? Would that be a conflict?


    Thanks
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 2nd Mar 17, 9:22 AM
    • 1,034 Posts
    • 747 Thanks
    rtho782
    A friend of mine had this happen on a house he purchased, with a garage that was on separate deeds (although not under a coach house and both freehold).

    He was a first time buyer and happy to wait, but the vendor had to contact the people he bought from, had a similar issue in that they had broken up, and had to pay for tracing people to find the woman.

    It delayed the purchase by about 6 months, but it did get worked out. I don't know if the vendors had to pay the costs to trace or if they got their original solicitors to pay for it.

    Worst case scenario, you could apply for adverse possession in a couple of years, or the equivalent for registered land. As the land registry won't be able to contact the current "owner" they won't be able to object so even if registered land, this should go through.
    Deposit Saved since 01/12/15: £13,000 / £15,000 House Bought!

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    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 2nd Mar 17, 9:28 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    A friend of mine had this happen on a house he purchased, with a garage that was on separate deeds (although not under a coach house and both freehold).

    He was a first time buyer and happy to wait, but the vendor had to contact the people he bought from, had a similar issue in that they had broken up, and had to pay for tracing people to find the woman.

    It delayed the purchase by about 6 months, but it did get worked out. I don't know if the vendors had to pay the costs to trace or if they got their original solicitors to pay for it.

    Worst case scenario, you could apply for adverse possession in a couple of years, or the equivalent for registered land. As the land registry won't be able to contact the current "owner" they won't be able to object so even if registered land, this should go through.
    Originally posted by rtho782
    Hi, thank you for your answer, that's really useful.
    I don't think they'll wait six months, we have a couple of issues, they want to move in in June, also we are buying new build and they will be pushing for a quick exchange. Will we be able to exchange with this in progress?
    One of the old owners is happy to sign, the other, even if found, will probably not sign unless forced, so that will hold things up.
    We are making an application that, as there is a covenant in the house deeds that it cannot be sold without transferring the garage, there was every intention to sell both. I am hoping that with one signature and that in place it might sway things for us.
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 2nd Mar 17, 9:44 AM
    • 1,034 Posts
    • 747 Thanks
    rtho782
    Hi, thank you for your answer, that's really useful.
    I don't think they'll wait six months, we have a couple of issues, they want to move in in June, also we are buying new build and they will be pushing for a quick exchange. Will we be able to exchange with this in progress?
    One of the old owners is happy to sign, the other, even if found, will probably not sign unless forced, so that will hold things up.
    We are making an application that, as there is a covenant in the house deeds that it cannot be sold without transferring the garage, there was every intention to sell both. I am hoping that with one signature and that in place it might sway things for us.
    Originally posted by dizzybee001

    Yeah, sounds like the covenant alone should be enough, fingers crossed for you!!
    Deposit Saved since 01/12/15: £13,000 / £15,000 House Bought!

    Debt Cleared since 01/12/15: £6,000 / £7,500
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 2nd Mar 17, 9:48 AM
    • 14,177 Posts
    • 76,267 Thanks
    GDB2222
    I am sure we will lose the buyer, although we are at the start of the process so fingers crossed.


    Question - do I get a new solicitor for the sale of my property whilst getting my old solicitor to sort out their mess, or do I instruct the old ones as they have all the details? Would that be a conflict?


    Thanks
    Originally posted by dizzybee001
    I don't see a conflict. As long as you are satisfied that they are doing their best to sort it out, I'd say to stay with them. I'm not even sure that it's their responsibility in the first place, so I'd do all I can to keep them on your side.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 2nd Mar 17, 9:49 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    A friend of mine had this happen on a house he purchased, with a garage that was on separate deeds (although not under a coach house and both freehold).

    He was a first time buyer and happy to wait, but the vendor had to contact the people he bought from, had a similar issue in that they had broken up, and had to pay for tracing people to find the woman.

    It delayed the purchase by about 6 months, but it did get worked out. I don't know if the vendors had to pay the costs to trace or if they got their original solicitors to pay for it.

    Worst case scenario, you could apply for adverse possession in a couple of years, or the equivalent for registered land. As the land registry won't be able to contact the current "owner" they won't be able to object so even if registered land, this should go through.
    Originally posted by rtho782
    Yeah, sounds like the covenant alone should be enough, fingers crossed for you!!
    Originally posted by rtho782

    Thank you, yes fingers crossed!!!
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 2nd Mar 17, 9:51 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    I don't see a conflict. As long as you are satisfied that they are doing their best to sort it out, I'd say to stay with them. I'm not even sure that it's their responsibility in the first place, so I'd do all I can to keep them on your side.
    Originally posted by GDB2222

    I am very confident that they are trying their best, it's not the original individual that I used, but another person and he has been very communicative and helpful. It is partly their responsibility, they didn't do the searches in enough depth and when there was a query with the garage they didn't follow up that line of enquiry. But they are trying their best now .
    Thanks
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 11th May 17, 10:24 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Update
    Update!
    My solicitor has submitted a request to the Land Registry with one of the original owners signatures on, the Land Registry have replied to him that because of the complexity of the situation they need to consult one of their lawyers. They have said that they can't expedite the query because it is so complicated.
    So, I have no idea how long it will take for their lawyers to have a look and come back to us.
    The buyer is now putting pressure on me as to when this will be resolved (quite rightly), and it looks as if they may walk away, although they have had their survey done and got their mortgage application prepared so they would have to start again with another property.
    I am so frustrated, can anyone give me any idea how long the solicitors may take at the Land Registry?
    Thanks all,
    • martindow
    • By martindow 11th May 17, 11:17 AM
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    • 4,074 Thanks
    martindow
    OP, I'm sorry to hear that this is still not resolved. The Land Registry rep is very helpful and hopefully will be back soon. It may be worth emailing them at the address they gave earlier to ask?

    In other posts the LR rep has talked of solicitors being able to contact them to expedite urgent matters.

    Why has it taken two months to apply to the LR?
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 11th May 17, 11:31 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Hi Martin


    I didn't email because my solicitor was getting in touch with them, and I didn't' want to complicate matters, in hindsight maybe I should have.
    It took two months, because the original owners solicitor had to get the original sales files out of storage and look at a court order that was made when the house was sold. He was really slow and when he finally got back to us there was no court order, just confirmation that the original owner's ex partner signed with a court officer as a witness (she is the one that may have to be traced).
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 11th May 17, 12:30 PM
    • 150 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    kirtondm
    Nothing useful to add but feel for you as have been in the same situation
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 11th May 17, 1:59 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Nothing useful to add but feel for you as have been in the same situation
    Originally posted by kirtondm

    Sorry to hear that, did it take long to sort out?
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 11th May 17, 2:51 PM
    • 150 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    kirtondm
    check out my original reply : )

    It delayed by2.3 monthes but I had a lot of help from the solicitors who had sold the flat originally think it helped that all the solitiors involved were in a small town and knew each other.

    Neither of my vendors could be traced and in the end the vendors solicitors submitted a statement to the land registry basically taking responsibility that the garage had been intended in the purchase which was accepted by the land registry.
  • Land Registry
    Update!
    My solicitor has submitted a request to the Land Registry with one of the original owners signatures on, the Land Registry have replied to him that because of the complexity of the situation they need to consult one of their lawyers. They have said that they can't expedite the query because it is so complicated.
    So, I have no idea how long it will take for their lawyers to have a look and come back to us.
    The buyer is now putting pressure on me as to when this will be resolved (quite rightly), and it looks as if they may walk away, although they have had their survey done and got their mortgage application prepared so they would have to start again with another property.
    I am so frustrated, can anyone give me any idea how long the solicitors may take at the Land Registry?
    Thanks all,
    Originally posted by dizzybee001
    Unfortunately such referrals do take time although it is not the complexity that is normally the issue here but the number of applications/enquiries that need to be considered.

    This reads as if it is all a balance of risk as well as how it would be viewed legally so we do have to rely on our own legal advice, one of our own lawyers, to decide on the issue as presented. It is in essence a replicaiton of what the buyer and seller's own solicitors have done as well but it is looked at from a different angle by each.

    It will be considered as quickly as possible so hopefully a response/decision will be made shortly and I would not expect it to take longer than 10 working days
    Last edited by Land Registry; 11-05-2017 at 3:34 PM.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Land Registry. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 17th May 17, 6:01 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Hi thanks for all the advice, still holding on for an answer, the buyer has told us we need to give them a timescale by this Friday which I don't think willl happen!
    He has also said that he will need to move into temporary rental accommodation, and he would expect us to pay £900 a month towards this!!
    We will wait and see ......

    Kirtondm, thank you as well, really appreciate your help.

    Will keep you posted .........
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