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What Does Absolute Title Mean?

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Absolute Title on the HM Land Registry Deeds means that there is no way that someone can legally contest or claim against your property ownership. This is the strongest form of ownership title and is sometimes referred to as ‘Perfect Title’.

Owners of properties with Absolute Title have all the legal rights to the land beneath them.

However, Absolute Title can be impaired if there are outstanding taxes on the property or in cases such as divorce or separation, where one spouse could claim a portion of the property.

To restore the Absolute Title, these issues must be resolved through the appropriate legal processes.

Freehold and leasehold properties can both receive Absolute Title. To learn more, keep reading.

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Where To Find Whether You Have Absolute Title?

When you’re buying a property, your conveyancing solicitor will obtain the title from HM Land Registry. You can also get the Title Register for a fee of £3.

Part B of the register is the Proprietorship Register, and it will state ‘Title absolute’ in large letters. This section also includes the name of the owner(s) or proprietor(s), their full address, the price paid for the property, the date of the transaction, and any potential restrictions.

Keep in mind that, if you’ve recently purchased the property, the Title Register will usually be updated within two to three months after the conveyancing process is finished.

What Could Affect Absolute Title When Buying or Selling a Property?

Property owners with absolute title can sell their property and pass on the same title to the buyer. However, HM Land Registry may not grant this type of ownership for two main reasons: title defects and incorrect legal paperwork

Title defects often occur when mortgage borrowers fall behind on payments and the lender has a charge against the property. In such cases, arrears can lead to repossession.

Other title defects can be due to unpaid taxes, issues with other co-owners, or during divorce proceedings. Incorrect submission of legal paperwork can usually be resolved.

It is important to do research and make an informed decision when selling a property.

What Does Title Absolute Mean
Owners of properties with Absolute Title have all the legal rights to the land beneath them.

If there is insufficient evidence 

If a property has never been registered and there is not enough legal paperwork to prove ownership (or an Epitome of Title), the HM Land Registry will not give absolute title.

If the property you are looking to buy does not possess absolute title, your conveyancer may suggest purchasing indemnity insurance to protect you against any losses should a third party claim ownership.

It is significant to make sure that you do not disobey any conditions of the property’s deed, even if you do not have access to it. Consequently, properties with absolute title typically have a higher value than those with a possessory or qualified title.

Other Property Titles

If a property does not qualify for an absolute title, legally speaking, there are seven other possible classifications. The two most common are possessory title and qualified title.

  1. Possessory Title means that access to the original land registry title deeds is unavailable. It may also be used when ownership of the property is contested or when it has been acquired through ‘adverse possession’, which is when somebody has openly and exclusively occupied the property without consent for at least 10 years.
  2. Qualified Title is the least common type of title. It means that there are certain defects in the title or reservations regarding it, and the state’s guarantee will not cover the defective element.

These titles may apply to both freehold and leasehold properties.

Upgrading The Title to Absolute (at HM Land Registry)

Upgrading a title is governed by Section 62 of the Land Registration Act 2002. Part 7 outlines that the Land Registry can only grant an upgrade to the following:

  • The registered proprietor (owner); those that are entitled to be classed as owners (e.g. where a property is inherited and the Will states the new owner(s) it is possible to upgrade, provided new proprietorship is confirmed). Note: only then can the inherited property be sold;
  • The proprietor (owner) of any registered charge that affects the estate;
  • Any person interested in a registered estate derived from the registered estate to be upgraded.
  • For properties with possessory titles held uncontested for 12 years, it may qualify for an upgrade to absolute title – no additional evidence is necessary.
  • For properties with qualified titles, an upgrade application can be made at any time. HM Land Registry will need clear evidence to justify the grant of absolute title in the eyes of the law.

The title upgrade process involves Form UT1, as per rule 124 of the Land Registration Rules 2003.

What is a Good Leasehold Title
Possessory Title means that access to the original land registry title deeds is unavailable.

Good Leasehold Title

If you are unable to provide evidence of a property’s freehold title, or if the freeholder cannot be identified, a good leasehold title may be applicable. This type of title is similar to title absolute in many ways.

When HM Land Registry grants a good leasehold title, it means that you are believed to possess the necessary rights to the leasehold, but it is still possible for a third party to make a claim.

The Rights an Absolute Title Provides

An absolute title confers upon the holder the right to use and dispose of the property as they wish, without any contestations that could hinder them.

The owner can freely sell the property, giving the buyer the same title upon completion of the purchase, provided the seller had it in the first place.

Renting the property is also an option, as is the case when a financial institution holds the title of a mortgaged property. With the absolute title, the owner gains the right of ownership of the mortgage deed and can call for full repayment of the mortgage debt before the due date.

They may also include a clause in the deed permitting early termination of any existing interests in the property.

Is a Perfect Title the Same as an Absolute Title?

A perfect title and an absolute title both refer to a type of property ownership in which the owner has complete control over the title – they can hold it, sell it, or change it as they wish.

What Makes a Property Not an Absolute Title
A title to a property that is faced with debt charges, court orders, or any other encumbrances does not constitute an absolute title.

What Makes a Property Not an Absolute Title?

A title to a property that is faced with debt charges, court orders, or any other encumbrances does not constitute an absolute title. This is because the value of the property and its ownership may be contested.

What Is a Defective Title?

A title that is defective, or clouded, can’t be transferred or sold due to a debt charge or a court judgment, such as unpaid taxes, missing paperwork, or an ownership dispute. It cannot be used to complete a sale or transfer.

Can You Sell Your Home Without Absolute Title Rights?

Are you thinking of selling but don’t have Title Absolute status? You’re not alone – it is still possible to sell your home in this situation.

If you can’t establish an absolute title because of missing documents or unresolved issues, you may be able to sell with a possessory title.  Here at Property Saviour, we purchase properties with defective titles for cash.

The possessory title recognises your possession and occupation of the property but does not give the same level of certainty as the absolute title. You’ll need to inform potential buyers about the possessory title.

They may require extra assurances or safeguards before they go ahead with the purchase. In some cases, you may consider taking out title insurance to provide financial protection against potential risks or claims due to the absence of absolute title.

This gives buyers additional peace of mind and mitigates risks associated with the sale. Note that buyers may conduct more thorough due diligence if there is no absolute title.

They may hire solicitors or conveyancers to review the title documents, investigate any outstanding issues, and assess the risks involved.

Be prepared to provide all available information and cooperate with the buyer’s solicitor during the due diligence process.

Can You Buy A Home Without Title Absolute Designation
When purchasing a property in the UK, it is important to review the title register and associated documents to understand the type of title held.

Can You Buy A Home Without Title Absolute Designation?

When purchasing a property in the UK, it is important to review the title register and associated documents to understand the type of title held. This could be absolute, possessory, qualified, or another type.

Title insurance can provide financial protection against potential risks or defects in the title that may emerge after the purchase.

It can offer coverage for legal costs or financial losses associated with undisclosed claims or issues related to the title. Researching the property before purchase and considering title insurance is advisable.

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If you need a quick sale and are worried about the delays and stress caused due to title issues, we can help.

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