The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
If the seller’s title is pending registration at HM Land Registry, the safest course of action for the buyer is to postpone exchange until registration takes place. Where the parties wish to exchange before registration, before agreeing to do so the buyer’s solicitor should contact the relevant HM Land Registry office for an estimated completion date.
If the buyer is mortgaging the property, check whether this is acceptable to the lender. Some lenders will not finance the acquisition of:
properties that have been owned by the seller for less than six months, or
properties where the seller’s title is pending registration
In addition, read and consider the Law Society practice note on mortgage fraud if the seller:
has owned the property for less than six months, or
is a private company or has recently purchased the property from a private company
The transfer of a registered estate is a registrable disposition which must be completed by registration. Until the transfer is registered it does not operate at law—the seller’s title is merely equitable. However, a person who is entitled to be registered as the proprietor of a registered estate is entitled to sell it.
For problems that can arise due to this ‘registration gap’, see Practice Note: The ‘registration gap’.
The seller’s title may
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