Where Can I Find The Conveyance Deed?

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When buying or selling a property in the UK, the conveyancing process legally transfers ownership from one party to another. A key document forming part of this is the conveyance deed, also known as the transfer deed. For house sales and purchases to proceed smoothly, the conveyance deed must be correct and accessible. But where can buyers and sellers obtain this important transfer document if needed? This guide explains what conveyance deeds contain and the options for locating them.

What is a Conveyance Deed?

A conveyance deed, or transfer deed, is the legal document registering a change of ownership when a property is sold. It transfers the equity from the seller to the buyer. The deed will state:

  • The property’s address and title details
  • Names of both parties
  • Sale amount and date
  • Responsibility for outstanding mortgages
  • Confirmation new owner accepts any property restrictions
  • Signatures of seller and buyer

The deed provides critical evidence of the transfer for future reference. It is a key part of the conveyancing process.

Why is the Conveyance Deed Required?

The conveyance deed performs several important functions:

  • Legally transfers ownership from the old owner to the new
  • Officially registers the sale details with the Land Registry
  • Confirms both parties agree to the property exchange
  • Allows related legal property processes to proceed like mortgage transfers
  • Creates a record of sale terms for future reference
  • Enables title deed records to be updated accurately

Without this documentation, the property sale cannot be fully complete.

What Happens to the Conveyance Deed After Sale?

Once signed by the seller and buyer, the buyer’s conveyancer registers it with the Land Registry. The Land Registry updates its records, issuing fresh title documentation to the new owner. The original conveyance deed effectively evidences a change of ownership. This is kept securely by the Land Registry in its records indefinitely as the definitive proof of sale.

When Would I Need to Access the Deed?

Occasions when buyers or sellers may need to reference the original conveyance deed include:

  • Remortgaging the property in future – to prove ownership rights
  • Further property sales – as evidence you can legally sell the property
  • Disputes over boundaries or rights associated with the property
  • Clarifying entitlements around shared ownership
  • Tracing previous sale terms like appliances included
  • Queries over property details like floor space

The conveyance provides the authoritative sale record if uncertainties arise. Accessing it provides clarity.

How Buyers Can Obtain Their Property Conveyance Deed

New buyers do not receive the full conveyance deed after purchase. However, various options exist to obtain copies:

  • Request an ‘Epitome of Title’ document from the Land Registry – this contains key elements of the conveyance confirming property details and sale date.
  • Contact the seller’s solicitor who executed the purchase – they should retain a copy on file.
  • Order an official copy directly from the Land Registry by providing the title number – a small administrative fee applies.

The epitome of title extract usually suffices for most needs as proof of purchase. But original deeds can be accessed from the Land Registry if required.

How Sellers Can Access the Conveyance Deed?

For sellers seeking to reference the conveyance deed from when they purchased the property:

  • Their original conveyancing solicitor should still hold the deed copy on file – request a copy.
  • Utilise their property logbook containing key documents like sales contracts.
  • Order a copy from the Land Registry by providing property address details – a fee applies.
  • Request Epitome of Title from Land Registry – contains key conveyance components.

If sellers have lost their records, contacting the Land Registry ensures access to authoritative original documents evidencing the transaction.

What If No Conveyance Deed Exists?

In rare cases, properties lack conveyance deeds, usually due to:

  • Ownership predating England’s Land Registry records – pre-dating 1862
  • Historic missing deeds preventing traceability
  • Errors during historic transactions

Where no deeds exist, obtain Epitome of Title documents from the Land Registry outlining core details. If major uncertainties remain, a conveyancing solicitor can assist with resolving property ownership queries by examining wider evidence. Lack of deeds rarely prevents sales but can delay transactions.

Lost or Incorrect Conveyance Deeds

Sometimes deeds contain errors or are lost completely. Steps include:

  • Double check Land Registry for any lodged copy
  • Request the conveyancer who executed the sale to provide a duplicate
  • Ask previous owners if they still retain a copy
  • Apply for a formal replacement deed from the Land Registry – this involves interviewing parties involved in the original transaction where possible.

If errors are discovered, legal declarations can be made to rectify inaccuracies in deeds held by the Land Registry. This updates their records.

Checking Conveyance Deeds When Buying

When buying a property, buyers’ conveyancers thoroughly check conveyance deeds from the seller’s previous purchase. This verifies they are legally entitled to sell. If acquiring with tenants, examine their tenancy agreements within the deeds too. This avoids future disputes.

Digitisation of Conveyancing Deeds

Land Registry has digitised records, including digital conveyance copies. This improves document accessibility and storage. However, physical paper deeds remain authoritative if disputes arise. Digital deed copies suffice for most Needs when checking sale details.

Deed Storage for Security

Original conveyance deeds contain sensitive information that could enable fraud if accessed. Keep deeds secure via:

  • Secure digital or physical storage with controlled access
  • Encryption of electronic records and password protection
  • Placing deeds in safe deposit boxes or similar

Correct storage protects this key legal document.

Conclusion

The conveyance deed is essential in providing crucial evidence of a property sale, a transaction where selling a house costs are a significant consideration. It is imperative to securely retain this document for the long term. Copies can be obtained by both buyers and sellers when needed, and they can make such requests from conveyancers or the Land Registry directly. As many processes have become digital, conveyance deeds continue to be easily accessible. They play a vital role in verifying ownership details and sale terms, serving as a key document that legally evidences property exchanges.

  • The conveyance deed officially registers a change of ownership when a property is sold.
  • Original deeds remain with the Land Registry but copies can be accessed.
  • Buyers and sellers may require it as authoritative proof of sale terms.
  • Deeds can be sourced from conveyancers or Land Registry if needed.
  • Digital copies often suffice but physical deeds hold greater legal standing.
  • Conveyance deeds should be stored securely long term.

 

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