|GOODBYE TO HOUSE DEEDS?
There have been substantial and far-reaching changes in the conveyancing world during the
latter part of 2003, of which all homeowners and particularly those contemplating a sale
of their property should be aware. Under the Land Registration Act that came in to
force in October 2003, the Land Registry no longer issue Deeds or Land Certificates as
evidence of ownership of your home and nowadays the sole evidence of your ownership is a
computer entry at H M Land Registry. The Governments formal dispensing of
paper Certificates and Title Deeds has made it very important that homeowners retain
details of the Title Number under which their property is registered, as this will be a
vital piece of information on any occasion where a homeowner needs to deal with the title
to their property, such as a sale or mortgage. These Title Numbers for Norfolk have a NK
prefix and are usually followed by a five or six digit number, which is individual to each
property in the area. It is this number that is required as a first step in any dealing
with your home. In this day and age when speed in all transactions is usually a
necessity the early production of your individual Title Number can save considerable
delays, which are both frustrating and expensive. Even if your property is in
mortgage you should retain a note of your Title Number for any further dealings that you
may contemplate. The absence of a formal set of Title Deeds, whilst intended by the
Government to speed the conveyancing transaction, does have an unfortunate side effect in
that other documents that were traditionally stored with your Deeds can often find
themselves homeless as there is no deed packet for them to be stored within.
Traditionally ancillary documentation relating to your home such as planning
permissions, building regulation approvals and guarantees including NHBC Certificates
would have been held with the Title Deeds either by the mortgage company or in a place of
safekeeping. Now that the principal ingredient of such a Deed Packet is no longer
required, there is no natural home for these documents, which are increasingly required
during the course of the sale of your property or even during the course of a mortgage.
Considerable confusion now reigns as to whether your mortgage company will even
accept these ancillary documents to hold on your behalf and it is now prudent for the
homeowners themselves to retain them. Purchasers solicitors and mortgage companies
are becoming increasingly vigorous in their requirements from the owner of a property to
produce the necessary planning history and details of guarantees etc and if these are not
stored safely yet further frustrating delays can ensue. Ideally once a purchase is
completed a purchaser should request these documents from their conveyancer and retain the
documents themselves or ensure that the solicitor is retaining them on their behalf.
Solicitors offices vary in their practice some are pleased to hold documents on behalf of
clients without charge others make an annual charge. In the light of these changes
and the Governments attempt at streamlining the key to speedy and
trouble free conveyancing lies in the homeowners hands. To ensure that your sale or
remortgage gets off to a immediate start the homeowner themselves should have readily
available as much detail about their property as possible, including the Title Number,
copies of planning documents and guarantees for work carried out to the property. The
contractors quotations and specifications and even paid invoices should ideally
accompany these guarantees. Copies of current Council Tax, Water rate accounts and utility
bills will also assist.
|It is no longer safe to assume that somebody
else will be storing this information on your behalf unless you have reached agreement
with your solicitor for storage of these items
So often nowadays it is considered unnecessary to take any action on the legal side of
matters when selling your home until the Estate Agents have found a suitable purchaser
whereas in truth one phone call to your conveyancer at the time of instructing your Estate
Agent can set you on the path to collating the necessary and often widespread
documentation that will be needed.
This initial advice from your conveyancer as to what you will need to collate should be
without charge and vital time can be saved by this basic preparation.
Contact Sam Whatley or Susan Dawe on 823398.
Whatley Smith & Co. Solicitors
1 Augusta Street, Sheringham
|MP WELCOMES MOVES TO CLEAN TRAINS
Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, has welcomed an assurance from Anglia
Railways that they intend to take steps to improve cleanliness on Bittern Line trains
between Sheringham and Norwich.
Mr Lamb had taken the issue up with them after complaints from constituents. He also asked
Anglia Railways about when their recently-announced improvements to single-carriage local
trains will take effect.
I am pleased that Anglia Railways intend to be more diligent about train
cleaning, said Norman Lamb. Hopefully this, coupled with the upgrades to
carriages, will make travel on this excellent local service more attractive.
I will continue to campaign for other improvements to the Bittern Line such as the
refurbishment of the North Walsham station site, both with Anglia Railways and National
Express when they take over the Greater Anglia franchise.