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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18744
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My mothers property deeds are missing and as the house was

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Hi. My mothers property deeds are missing and as the house was purchased in c 1958 they were not registered at the land registry. We have now got possessory title but it will be difficult to sell the property. I understand we have to wait 12 years to apply for the freehold. Is it possible to challenge this? I was born in the house in 1960 so my birth certificate states the address. I really would like to see if we can get the freehold as I know now how the deeds were destroyed. Can you help at all? Bev
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: backin Nov 2018 I thought Barclays had lost the deeds. This proved fruitless as the financial ombudsman could not help due to the length of time since my father passed away 2004 and the discovery of the missing deeds 2018. I now know the deeds were thrown away when decorating was undertaken at the house. The address had no documents showing on line at the land registry so I went via a solicitor to register our interest and have Possessory Title only. It is this that I wish to challenge in the hope of getting this upgraded to absolute without waiting 12 years. Possessory title was granted in Feb 2019.
JA: Where is the house located?
Customer: Swanley, kent
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: my mother is now in a care home. I have power of attorney over her property and finance matters

Good morning. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service.

who is the freeholder?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There isn’t one. I believe it should be my mother

I’m sorry to say that with no deeds, it is unlikely that you will get it upgraded to Absolute Title.

That is quite simply because there is no proof of ownership and possessor in title is basically an interim measure just in case anyone else comes forward, claiming ownership.

have a look specifically at section 1 in the 1st and second paragraphs.

Don’t get excited about rule 27 because it contains very little:

I’m sorry to say that unless there is a unequivocal proof with other documents and statements such as solicitors files et cetera, it’s unlikely in the extreme that you are going to get this done before the statutory period passes. Once the land registry has made its mind up, from experience, that’s the end of it.

I’m sorry, I know this is not the answer you wanted.

Unless the land registry has made a mistake, it’s generally not worth challenging. If you do, then it’s a matter for the Land Tribunal but I wouldn’t hold my breath at the thought of it succeeding.

I’m sorry, I know it’s not the answer you wanted.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks or your advice. I will leave it there. As you say very annoying but I guess I will have to live with it.