We have lost the Title Deeds to our house. Where would we get duplicates from and how much would this cost?
The loss of Title Deeds is not as much of a problem these days as it used to be. This will, however, depend entirely on whether or not the title to your property is registered.
For example, in the Cardiff area all dealings involving properties since 1974 would have resulted in the need for compulsory registration of that property and if your property has changed ownership since 1974 then the title to it will now be registered.
The appropriate registration number can easily be obtained from the Land Registry by carrying out a search of the Property Index. This is done by inputting the postcode of the property and then identifying the appropriate title. You can then request office copies of that particular title number electronically at a cost of between £10 and £15 depending on whether or not you have an account with the Land Registry.
All property lawyers have accounts with the Land Registry either direct or through their Property Service Providers, and office copy entries can often be obtained at a reduced cost as a result of these arrangements, whereas members of the general public would pay slightly more for this service if requesting copies direct themselves.
The electronic copy of the Register is a snapshot of that Register at the date and time (to the second) that it is supplied. This facility enables solicitors to make up to date searches of the Registers immediately prior to purchases being completed to ensure that there are no last minute entries on the Register which would prejudice a would-be purchaser.
If the property is unregistered then the problem is far greater. This would require a reconstitution of the title which in turn would require Statutory Declarations by way of evidence from the owners and possibly predecessors in title detailing their length of ownership etc and also detailing how the documents had been mislaid.
In such cases the Land Registry would normally only provide a “Possessory Title” unless ownership can be proved beyond any reasonable doubt. If your title is unregistered and you have mislaid the Title Deeds to your property then you must contact a solicitor immediately as this is extremely urgent.