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  • FIRST POST
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 24th Feb 17, 8:48 AM
    • 37Posts
    • 8Thanks
    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 3
    • martindow
    • By martindow 18th May 17, 10:19 AM
    • 7,077 Posts
    • 3,907 Thanks
    martindow
    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 .........
    Originally posted by dizzybee001
    If they pull out they won't buy somewhere else by Friday! They have been foolish to arrange to leave where they are before exchange. Hopefully the estate agent will tell the buyers that it will take as long as it takes and let them calm down.

    Of course if they need to rent it will cost them some money but this is set off against what they would need to pay for the mortgage.

    Hope it works out in the end.
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 18th May 17, 10:23 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Hi, thank you for your reply.
    Yes, quite, I have pointed out that whatever they decide to do, they will have to move to temporary accommodation. They are renting now, I'm not sure why they couldn't stay on there, but obviously have decided to leave.
    I was thinking about offering them a little contribution if they hung in there, but £900?? That means that their rent goes down to £400 a month, and they make a lot of money from me!! I thought it was ridiculous, and although I don't want to lose my buyer, I am confident that if this happens that I will find another one fairly soon
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 18th May 17, 10:36 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    I've just heard that the land registry have rejected our application.


    gutted.
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 18th May 17, 10:50 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    kirtondm
    what do your solicitors now suggest?
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 18th May 17, 11:13 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    He is going to go back to the Land registry and explain that we may be able to get statutory declarations from me, the original owner, and his solicitor. I'm not sure of the difference between that and what we have already done.
    We will start the tracing process for the other original owner, I have found her on facebook, but as I don't know her I don't know if it will do more harm or good contacting her myself. I suppose, nothing ventured, and all that.
    Very disappointed as it seem very likely that this will take too much time, and we will lose not only our buyer but the new house too.
    However, I am trying very hard to count my blessings, and there are many, I mustnt' complain because there are people are lot worse off than me .
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 18th May 17, 12:03 PM
    • 131 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    kirtondm
    i would imagine an inducement to the other owner might be the quickest way to resolve?
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 18th May 17, 12:09 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    You mean offer her money? Might work, it would go against all my principles!, but I am a getting a little desperate now...
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 18th May 17, 5:54 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    So my solicitor has instructed a tracing agent to track her down.
    If they manage to find her, and she refuses to sign, how long would it take before we can go to court to get them to sign on her behalf? I think that's our worst case scenario.

    Thanks.
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 19th May 17, 9:34 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Just heard from my solicitor:
    I have spoken to the Land Registry and they will not agree to accept any further evidence


    So we have to go down the tracing route. I can't believe that the Land Registry are being this obtuse about a garage, I could understand if it was a house, but this is a garage, linked to a house in the title deeds, that cannot be transferred separately, that I have had full use and access to for nearly 6 years!!!!


    So, to trace this lady could take months, then she will refuse to sign, then a court will have to be appointed to sign for her. In the meantime, we lose our sale and we lose our new house.


    Fuming


    My solicitor has never mentioned costs to sort this, and I don't think I should have to pay as it was never picked up by them when I bought the property, but I'm wondering whether I should bring this matter up, as it will obviously cost to appoint a tracing agent and to go to court.
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 19th May 17, 10:33 AM
    • 949 Posts
    • 639 Thanks
    rtho782
    A tracing agent is a couple of thousand pounds alone. I would definitely be sure who is paying for this!
    Deposit Saved since 01/12/15: £13,000 / £15,000 House Bought!

    Debt Cleared since 01/12/15: £6,000 / £7,500
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 19th May 17, 11:25 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    kirtondm
    If you already have her on facebook do you need a tracing agent? Surely she could just be approached?

    How would a court be able to sign on her behalf if she refuses? Before our garage was signed over all parties were sent a letter saying they could object whcih would have blocked the transfer if they had replied.

    Could you approach the cost liablity issue along the grounds they were negligent in allowing the transfer in breech of the coveneants?

    I wrote a letter to the senior partner when the s**t hit the fan with ours and they confrimed they would meet the costs.
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 19th May 17, 11:44 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Hi
    I don't have her on facebook, I've found her on facebook. I've sent a message, we will see if she answers. If we had an address we could ask her if she objects, but we have to find her first.


    My solicitor has been very clear on costs to sell the property, and he has never given any implication that I would be liable for any of the costs to sort this out. I agree that they were negligent, and I will argue that if they try to charge me anything. I'll let them go ahead and sort it out, if they then try to charge me I too will be writing to the senior partner!


    This is a complete nightmare, and I am so stressed with it all.
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 20th May 17, 2:12 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Update!!
    I sent a really nice message to the original owner saying sorry for bothering her etc but this was holding up my sale, please could she sign the paperwork if I got her in touch with my solicitor.
    I got a really stroppy answer back, basically she wants nothing to do with it all, she felt that she had been forced to sign the original papers and she refused to be intimidated to sign these, that the house has been sold twice since and to not contact her again.
    So, she said no!!
    We've lost our buyer and Taylor wimpey have given us two weeks to sort this out or they will have to remarket their property. Which is fair enough really.
    So, because I was the only one to pick up this mistake, because two solicitors and land registry have missed this and transferred the house without the garage, twice, even though the deeds clearly state they shouldn't have, I am now left with a house I can't sell.
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 19th Jun 17, 4:09 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Still no joy
    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 my solicitor has made the application, but would it be any use for me to email land registry myself to explain the situation, bearing in mind my application was rejected.
    Thanks
  • Land Registry representative
    Apologies for slow response. Reading what you have posted since I don't believe it will make any difference if you wrote yourself to explain.

    Land law and the registration requirements are quite clear as to how registered titles must be transferred. Unfortunately it simply did not happen in this case.

    As I posted it is very rare but sadly it can happen. Unfortunately it is invariably down to poor conveyancing in the part of both seller and buyer as it is important to check that what is being sold/bought matches what is registered.

    As a house can easily be sold and a garage kept or vice versa it can't just be later accepted on the word of everyone other than the still registered owner.

    It is disappointing to note that the solicitor considers it 'obtuse' to worry about the legal ownership of a garage. It is after all our role to protect the legal interests of all parties.

    And the key here is that the still registered owner is alive and presumably able to transfer the legal ownership. How that is achieved is really up to you and will very likely mean you have to make all the effort to make it as easy as possible for them to complete things.

    Very rare. Very difficult to tackle sometimes. But necessary
    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 21st Jun 17, 4:46 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Hi
    Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it.


    We are doing all we can to get the title transferred, it's taking ages and now the new house has been sold on (which was inevitable). Such is life, it wasn't meant to be.


    I appreciate that things have got to be done legally and correctly, it just feels that we have had to tackle a problem on every turn!


    I will keep waiting (and nagging my solicitor!)


    Thanks again
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 21st Jun 17, 5:36 PM
    • 4,337 Posts
    • 17,851 Thanks
    Slinky
    Sorry to hear of your problem. Have you thought of offering this woman some money to sign?
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 21st Jun 17, 7:43 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Hi I did think of that but I think the problem might now be that the original owners solicitor is dragging their heels with the paperwork
    • dizzybee001
    • By dizzybee001 13th Jul 17, 3:13 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    dizzybee001
    Ok, update
    We have lost our buyer, and the new house. TW withdrew the contracts, so we are back to square one. We are now waiting for the original owner to return the forms, we have sent her letter warning her that if she doesn't respond within 14 days then we will have to get the litigators involved. She won't take kindly to that but we have no choice.


    So, we decided to enjoy the summer and not worry about things. But, I have now had a bill from the solicitor we were using to purchase the property and they want us to pay £600 towards work already done. Although it was TW that withdrew from the sale, it was because of the garage deeds that the purchase didn't go ahead. I don't think we should pay this, as we have already lost our buyer and our dream home, why should I be out of pocket £600 for someone else's mistake???


    My solicitor is still reassuring me that we will get the garage transferred over, as it should have been done at the time, its linked on the deeds to the house, and we just need this person's signature. But, someone please tell me, if that is the argument, then why have the Land Registry refused to just sign it over?? If the original owner refuses to sign then where does that leave me??


    Gutted, fed up and about to cry


    Thanks
  • Land Registry representative
    dizzybee001 although it is just a signature on a form that is needed the law is quite clear that the ownership has to be legally transferred. By executing the form TR1 they are effectively transferring the legal ownership.

    Whilst the garage/property may be 'linked' that is not enough - I'm sure you will appreciate that someone might sell the garage separately or vice versa. So without that legal transfer of ownership it is not as 'simple as that'

    As far as the 'mistake' is concerned you may have a tough and therefore expensive time in proving where any blame lies. I say expensive as your solicitor should be able to explain that for you, suggest who may be to blame and pursue it on your behalf. But they are unlikely to do that for free.

    The alternative is to contact the firm who you think made or contributed to the mistake? Whether they respond is another matter but if they don't and you feel you have a case then they should have a complaints process and/or their website should indicate who their regulatory authority are.

    I'm really sorry to read you lost the sale/purchase but pleased to note that your are close to securing the legal transfer you need
    Last edited by Land Registry representative; 13-07-2017 at 4:39 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"
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