As the property market in Shropshire shows signs of recovery, buyers seem keen to complete quickly and move on from the standing position that has been forced upon them in recent times.
Whilst this is good news, a solicitor with one of the area's largest law firms has warned it also highlights the importance of owners making sure their property is registered with the Land Registry in order to resolve any potential difficulties in the title deeds and prevent delays in the sale process.
"Most properties that have changed hands within the past twenty years will be registered with the Land Registry," says Richard Lloyd, a Partner in the Oswestry office of leading Shropshire and North Wales law firm GHP Legal, "but those properties that have remained in the same ownership since before the Land Registry required mandatory registration will not be registered unless the owner registered them voluntarily ot has had some other dealing with the title, such as registration of a mortgage.
"If a property is registered it means that title to it has already been proven to the satisfaction of the Land Registry and searches for former conveyances, mortgages, deeds of grant of easement and covenants etcetera are of less importance, so the whole conveyancing process is a lot faster.
"There are also other advantages of registration. Firstly, everything relating to the Freehold or Leasehold title of a specific property or parcel of land is set out in one relatively concise document. Secondly, boundaries are mapped using advanced satellite technology onto a clear Ordnance Survey plan known as a Title Plan, and thirdly it is more difficult for a third party to acquire ownership by adverse possession or ‘squatters rights'.
"There is also now a new, growing issue - conveyancing fraud. Fraudsters are setting up bogus law firms to try and con buyers' solicitors into sending them purchase funds. So as well as applying for voluntary registration, it is also a good idea when selling a property to ensure the law firm you engage uses ‘Lawyer Checker' in its conveyancing process to validate the authenticity of the buyer's lawyers."