Pre-completion searches
Pre-completion searches

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

  • Pre-completion searches
  • Official search with priority—registered land or seller’s title pending first registration
  • How and when to search?
  • Is the form completed correctly?
  • What is the purpose and effect of the search?
  • The priority period
  • What if completion or the application for registration is delayed?
  • What if the certificate reveals adverse entries?
  • Land charges search—unregistered land
  • How and when to search?
  • More...

Official search with priority—registered land or seller’s title pending first registration

How and when to search?

An official search with priority will only protect:

  1. a registrable disposition of a registered estate (or an estate pending first registration where the application for first registration has already been lodged)

  2. made for valuable consideration—a transfer at a negative value is regarded as being for valuable or other consideration, marriage consideration and nominal monetary consideration is not

An official search carried out in respect of any other transaction will not give priority.

HM Land Registry Practice Guide 12 lists at section 2.6 rights matters or interests that cannot be protected by official search.

Apply to HM Land Registry for an official search with priority:

  1. of whole of a registered title using form OS1

  2. of part of a registered title using form OS2. If form OS1 is lodged in error, HM Land Registry will not deal with an application relating to part of the title until the official search has expired or is withdrawn under LRR 2003, r 150. However, for sales of part or leases of part, the search should cover those parts of the retained land over which easements are granted

HM Land Registry advises making the search at least five working days before completion.

Is the form completed correctly?

When completing the form, ensure that:

  1. where the buyer is mortgaging the property, the mortgagee

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