Whether you're a layman looking to understand your own transaction or a lawyer needing assistance with a client's conveyancing our step by step sale and purchase guides will lead you through the process while our mini guides will break the whole thing into manageable chunks and give a deep insight into the key issues and stages. Leasehold, freehold, unregistered, registered – we've got it all covered.
Need help with a remortgage or transfer of equity / deed of gift? Our guides will walk you through the process and highlight some of the common pitfalls. Mortgages and transfers can be very simple procedures but complex issues can sometimes arise and mistakes are easily made. These guides will help you deal with them.
So you want to have a go at your own conveyancing? First you should read about the risks, then if you're still happy to proceed, our guides will take you through each stage of the process telling you what to look out for and helping you avoid falling into expensive traps. Our subscription service will give you access to all of the documents you should need for your conveyancing and we can even supply you with the Land Registry Official Copies you'll need. Our general guides will cover all the obstacles you are likely to face and offer a practical solution. Have a look at our sale and purchase guides too.
A big part of the conveyancing process is the conveyancing searches. This section tells you all about them. What they are, how and when to order them and how to interpret the results. Each search has its own guide and you'll see they are separated into Standard (should be done in every case), Regional (area specific) and Optional (not essential but often useful tools for the would be purchaser). All buyers should beware that when you buy a property, the law assumes that you have seen the information that would have been revealed by searches whether or not you have actually carried them out, so you buy the property subject to the results.
Using a conveyancer to handle your conveyancing will greatly reduce the risk to you and sometimes, particularly if you are taking out a new mortgage, you will have no choice but to instruct a conveyancer. The good news is it doesn't have to break the bank. Get a free, instant quote here. We can also help with quick easy quotes for other moving related services.
Are you looking for the documents you'll need for your conveyancing transaction? Or official copies of the title or other documents from Land Registry. We can help you. Follow the links below.
This chapter explains how to draft the property transfer deed, which is the document which is submitted to HM Land Registry to transfer ownership of the legal title to land. If you are looking to carry out a property transfer yourself then you should note that there is more involved than merely drafting the property transfer deed. We recommend that you visit the following page: Guide to transfer of Equity or alternatively download our transfer of equity kit - it is a step by step guide to help you through the process.
In conveyancing the property transfer deed is the document which transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. It must be signed by all sellers. The property transfer deed will usually also be signed by the buyers, although this is not strictly necessary unless the property transfer includes covenants by the buyer or unless there is more than one buyer. A buyer's ownership can only be registered if he is in possession of a property transfer deed signed by the sellers therefore it is vital that the sellers' solicitor has the signed property transfer deed in his possession on completion so that he can give an undertaking to forward it to the buyer's solicitor. Without this undertaking, usually given in the replies to requisitions on title, the buyer is not obliged to complete, and should not do so.
According to protocol, and indeed the standard conditions of sale, the property transfer deed is drafted by the buyer's solicitor, although sometimes it will be done by the seller when issuing the contract papers. The property transfer deed is traditionally prepared after exchange although with solicitors increasingly being at a distance from each other and their clients, and with clients' demands leading to shorter gaps between exchange and completion, this approach is often impractical and it is more common now for it to be prepared at a much earlier stage. The property transfer deed must be in one of four standard forms, either the TR1, TR2, TR3 or TP1, depending on the nature of the transaction. The TR1 is used in the majority transactions, since this is for a transfer of the whole of a title by the registered proprietors of the title, and this is the version we will concentrate on here. To view an example TR1 (which is in Microsoft Word format and so can be downloaded and edited) click the link
Fairly self-explanatory, this where the title number(s) of the property transferred (there may be more than one) is inserted. For unregistered land it is left blank.
This is the address of the property which is subject to the property transfer. For registered land this must match the address on the Official Copies(unless some evidence is supplied on registration showing that the address has changed). For unregistered land you should show the full address and also refer to the document you are using as the Root of Title, for example it might read "1 The High Street, New Town NT1 2AB as more particularly described in the Conveyance dated 15th August 1977 between John Smith and Jack Jones".
This is the date that will be recorded as the date of completion of the property transfer. It should not be completed until completion has taken place, even if contracts have already been exchanged, because of the possibility of delayed completion.
The Transferor is the seller(s) (or in the case of a gift or transfer of equity the person making the property transfer) and their full name(s) is/are inserted here. The name(s) should match the Official Copies unless evidence of a change of name (for example a marriage certificate) is supplied, or in certain other circumstances, as follows:-
This section of the property transfer deed is where the buyer(s) name(s) is/are inserted. If buyer has given someone Power of Attorney to act on his behalf in the purchase then the wording used should be "[Buyer] acting by his attorney [Attorney]" and a certified copy of the Power should be attached to the Property Transfer Deed.
"Address for service" means the address where the land registry will serve any notices. For example if someone is attempting to claim possessory title of some land which is registered, this is where the land registry will right to invite the registered proprietor to make an objection. It is possible to have three addresses in this section. The first should be the buyer's home address following completion (usually the property address) and one of the other two ought to be an e-mail address. The option to use a second and third address is rarely used, though it should be.
This is simply a statement of the transaction that is taking place (a property transfer). It does not require amendment.
The consideration is the sum being paid for the property transfer. There are three options, and the appropriate box should be checked. The first is used where a sum of money has been paid and this is therefore the most common. The sum should be written in words and figures. The amount in this box must be the actual purchase price, before any incentives or allowances are deducted, but not including and amount paid for chattels. The second option is to be used if something other than money is paid for the property transfer. This could perhaps be another property. The third option is used when the property is transferred as a gift.
The contract will state what level of title guarantee is offered by the seller, and that is recorded in this section of the property transfer deed.
This section of the transfer deed only applies where there are two or more buyers. If a property is held as joint tenants then all owners own the property absolutely, so that if one owner dies, ownership of that person's interest passes automatically to the survivors with no need for a property transfer deed. This is the most common option used for couples in relation to their home. Tenants in Common own the property in shares, and should a joint tenant die ownership of their share passes via their will or intestacy. This is more common for business partners. If the shares are intended to be unequal then the third box should be checked and the shares should either be set out here or, if the trust is more complicated, the details may be contained in a separate declaration, which should then be referred to here. If this section is not completed then by default the land registry will assume that the property is to be held as tenants in common. This can cause serious problems if the intention for it to be held as joint tenants. Consider this example. A couple meet, decide to buy a home together but never marry. They intend to hold the property as joint tenants but the solicitor fails to note this in the property transfer. One of the couple has children from another relationship, and he or she passes away intestate (without leaving a will). As the couple were not married, the rules of intestacy say that the deceased's share will pass to the oldest child, rather than to his or her partner. If the children do not approve of the deceased's partner then they would be entitled to force the sale of the property and leave the survivor of the relationship with only half the equity. Clearly the client would be looking to the erring solicitor for compensation. It could of course be equally disastrous if a joint tenancy were created where the intention was for tenants in common.
This is where any new rights, covenants, restrictions, declarations etc are inserted into the property transfer. In this example you will we have an indemnity covenant. This is merely a covenant to observe existing covenants. It is unusual in a TR1 to impose fresh covenants or create new rights, since the title has already been created and is merely being transferred. It is fairly common to see various clauses which amend the implied covenants set out in the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1994. See the section on Useful Transfer Clauses for examples.
This is where the sellers and buyers sign the property transfer deed. As this is a deed, the signatures must be witnessed. The witnesses must be independent adults, that is to say over eighteen, not family members of the parties to the transaction and not parties to the transaction themselves.
When acting for a seller it is inevitable that at some point the day of completion will arrive and you will not be holding a property transfer deed signed by the seller. Every effort should be made to ensure this does not occur but where it does, it is permissible, with the consent of the buyer's solicitors and the seller, to complete but to retain the balance of the sale proceeds that are due to the seller until a signed property transfer is provided. This option would of course not be available if the sale proceeds were needed to fund a linked purchase.