Requesting evidence of title

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    Requesting evidence of title

    On peice of unregistered land, if challenged by someone claiming ownership, how should one request evidence of title? If they own the neighbouring land, would historic deeds show a map detailing boundaries?
    Thanks

    #2
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      #3
      Evidence of ownership will be the last conveyance showing who was the named purchaser and other evidence such as a will, a grant of probate and and assent if the person claiming ownership is not the person named in the previous conveyance.

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        #4
        Thank you, would it be acceptable to ask for this proof on an informal basis, and if not, what would be the appropriate manner, avoiding legal charges. Regards

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          #5
          The original conveyance deed is an important private document that provides evidence of land-ownership.
          You can ask to see a copy as proof of ownership if someone is claiming to be the legal owner of unregistered land, although some original deeds could still be in the possession of a mortgage company, if there is still a mortgage outstanding on the property.
          The original deed would be held as security for the money loaned to the owner when land remained unregistered, because only by having the original deed to prove ownership could that land be sold.

          The problem with unregistered land is that there is no legal mechanism to compel someone to provide a copy of what is known as their root of title, which has to start with a conveyance or transfer dated prior to when compulsory land registration was imposed on each district in England and Wales at various dates between 1925 and 1990.

          Under the Land Registration Act 1925 all areas were subject to compulsory registration by 1990, but each individual area was dealt with over the course of many different years.
          The reason why land remains unregistered is that no dealings with that land has taken place since the date that registration became compulsory in that particular area.

          On a practical note, if the land you are referring to was conveyed just prior to 1990, if your own area was one of the last to be included for compulsory registration, it is unlikely that a mortgage is still in place after 28 years. That would mean that whoever is claiming to own the property should be able to provide a copy of the deeds that are their root of title.
          Someone who inherited land prior to 1998 would also not have needed to have registered their title.

          Their root of title would be a conveyance showing who bought the land, that person's will and a grant of probate confirming that the property was left to a named beneficiary and an Assent signed by that beneficiary showing that he accepted ownership prior to 1998. After 1998 an assent did trigger compulsory registration.

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            #6
            OP, are you a squatter? I am currently squatting unregistered land and will at some point try to claim it. I'm also interested in how this will play out. I think the owner is dead, and assume that the paperwork isn't in the hands of the heirs of the owner.

            or you may be an owner? Do you not have any documentation or evidence about the ownership?

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              #7
              Arguably one could take possession then see whether the suspected unregistered owner actually has documentation to remove you.

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                #8
                Whilst the conveyancing process pays great attention to documentary evidence of title, it is possession which is the basis of title. If you are in possession of land (other than as a tenant or agent) you have title to it. If someone claims the land he has to show he has a better title - he cannot simply argue that you have no title.

                If you are squatting on unregistered land you do not need to worry about the ousted owner's title unless he turns up. If you are in adverse possession for the required number of years (usually but not always twelve) the ousted owner's title is extinguished.

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                  #9
                  Hi all, could anyone tell me how, in the event that somebody turns up claiming ownership of the land pre 1998, and I request to see a root of title etc, in what form can I expect to see it? I.e, marked on a map? Particularly if they claim to own neignbouring land, are boundaries on deeds likely expressed in writing or map format? Regards

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                    If you are in possession of land (other than as a tenant or agent) you have title to it.
                    Should have read "If you are in possession of land which is not explained by some arrangement such as a tenancy, licence or agency you have title to it.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by MisterLister View Post
                      Hi all, could anyone tell me how, in the event that somebody turns up claiming ownership of the land pre 1998, and I request to see a root of title etc, in what form can I expect to see it? I.e, marked on a map? Particularly if they claim to own neignbouring land, are boundaries on deeds likely expressed in writing or map format? Regards
                      There is no telling what form the document will take nor how the property is described in it.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post

                        There is no telling what form the document will take nor how the property is described in it.
                        Thank you.

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