Lost house deeds(6 Posts)
Anyone ever have problems with the Solicitors Regulation Authority ? In short, dad died, left me house, found out his solicitor had been struck off and now I cannot find Deeds to an unregistered house. The SRA is supposed to keep all papers from struck-off solicitors but they had given me and my solicitor the absolute run around. One week saying yes we have documents next week no we dont. Got a buyer for house which is one good thing. Anybody got any ideas before I lose my mind !
They either have deeds or not.
Do Land Registry have a record of your fathers ownership? If so then they will
Have copy of deed and that's problem solved.
If you want to find out right now you can pay your £4 online to Land registry and download a copy.
In the morning you can contact Land Registry and explain the situation.
I can't help with Solicitors conduct authority other than they are the ones who regulate all solicitors (including striking off and disciplining). I've only ever had to contact them once and they were very helpful.
By unregistered do you mean that land reg don't have any registered ownership and your dads deeds were the only proof?
In which case you'd need to gathered evidence of your dad living at the property by way of old bills, electoral roll etc.
Also worth finding out what the solicitor who was struck off was actually struck off for?
The OP has stated the house is unregistered so the Land Registry will be no use to her.
Is there an ombudsman above the SRA? Perhaps your MP can help.
Your solicitor should be able to advise you as to what you might be able to do to demonstrate your father's ownership OP, but understandably it would be better to find the deeds.
I don't know anything about what you can do to remedy the situation but, if the solicitor was struck off, presumably for malpractice, I would contact the LR to make sure that the deeds won't turn up registered in the solicitor's (or one of his relative's) name in the future. There must be some way of flagging the property with the LR to prevent this sort of fraud.
I had a solicitor lose the deeds of an unregistered house, and untruthfully claimed that I had collected them.
The new solicitor had to register the house in some way at the Land Registry, and I had to Swear that I had known the house and its boundaries all my life and they were correct. It helped that I had an old photocopy (on that slippery grey paper). It was all very tiresome and there was some doubt about the status of the title, I have an idea we might have had to insure it.
The first solicitor later found them and admitted they had been misfiled. Once the house had been Registered I got the old deeds back, so I suppose anyone with the old ones would not be able to use them. There is a faint chance that a previous mortgagor might have a copy.
What I mean is that it is possible, but tiresome and slow.
I am sure there are also many solicitors that are not incompetent idiots.
Hopefully the solicitor does hold the Epitome of Title. If not you may have to apply to Land Registry for a "reconstruction of title", whereby you provide as much documentary evidence as possible (i.e. utility bills etc in your dad's name) in order to lay claim to the property as being rightly yours (presume you have Grant of Probate in your favour?). Land Registry may only grant you Possessory title rather than Title Absolute and you have to make further applications when time limits have expired but as you're selling, you will most likely have to provide indemnity insurance to protect the mortgage lender/buyer from the possibility of someone appearing out of the blue to claim the property as theirs. This will delay matters for you, so best get on to it as soon as possible.
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