Buying land from trustees (including co-owners)
Buying land from trustees (including co-owners)

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Buying land from trustees (including co-owners)
  • Capacity to sell
  • Overeaching
  • Title guarantee
  • Limitation of liability
  • Delegation
  • Non-UK resident trustees or property overseas
  • Self-dealing

Capacity to sell

Trustees of land have all the powers of an absolute owner in relation to the land which is subject to the trust. A buyer from trustees of land is not concerned as to whether the trustees have complied with any of their obligations under TOLATA 1996.

In the case of registered land, the trustees’ power to sell may be qualified by the registration of a restriction in standard Form A. However, where the interests of the beneficiaries are overreached (see below) this will generally be sufficient to secure removal of the restriction without the buyer needing to do anything more.


A buyer of land from trustees will not be affected by any of the trusts on which the land is held if the purchase price is paid to all the trustees (of whom there must be at least two) or to a trust corporation (note that a trust corporation is not the same as a corporate trustee, but has the special meaning assigned to it by LPA 1925, s 205(1)(xxviii)).

For more information see Practice Note: Overreaching—sales by trustees of land.

Title guarantee

Trustees will invariably only be willing to sell with limited title guarantee. However, where the t