The main advantage of the English system for the purchase or lease of real estate is the very thorough investigation of title and of many other important aspects relating to the property that is undertaken by your lawyer to protect your interests. This is to ensure that the purchaser or tenant obtains what it expects without any detrimental surprises.
Most Freehold and many Leasehold titles are guaranteed by the State under the centralised transparent Land Registry system.
Title insurance plays no part in the English system.
For these reasons the processes involved can be both detailed and fairly protracted but the upside is that a purchaser or tenant obtains a high degree of protection.
The United Kingdom, England and Wales operate a ‘Property Register’. Title deeds are documents showing ownership, as well as rights, obligations, or mortgages on the property. Since around 2000, compulsory registration has been required for all properties mortgaged or transferred. The details of rights, obligations, and covenants referred to in deeds will be transferred to the register, a contract describing the property ownership.
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Sometimes some or all of the original deeds of title for unregistered land or property are missing, or have been destroyed. If this is the case and you are registering land or property for the first time, you will need to supply a statutory declaration or statement of truth.
See our guide to lost or destroyed deeds for more detail.