Does anybody know about this?

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    Does anybody know about this?

    Good morning, I wonder if somebody can help me on this case please:

    I am in the process of purchasing a property under a possessory title with an indemnity insurance. My solicitor requested the seller´s soliton to upgrade the title to "absolute" as the seller has been living in the property for about 20 years but the seller´s solicitor refused as claimed that is something that my solicitor can do after exchanging contracts and with the indemnity policy nothing else necessary for now. The seller´s policy started around 12 years after the property was purchased by the seller and he was living there, but for what I have been reading, if somebody lives in a property for 12 years can upgrade the title from "possessory" to "absolute", which obviously would be much better than having to pay an insurance. My questions are:

    - What would make you think that the title was not updated by then and an insurance indemnity policy was rather taken?

    - My solicitor is happy to exchange contracts under "possessory" title alongside the policy and claims that we can upgrade the title to "absolute" once we exchange, but for what I have seen reading, the owner has live 12 years in the property in order to do so. The owner will obviously be me, so does this mean that I will have to wait 12 years for it, or can be done straight after exchanging contracts as my solicitor says.

    The reason why I am asking here is because the only response I have got by my solicitor is that he is happy to exchange and upgrade the title later on, but nothing else, so I would like to know your opinion on this if possible please

    Kind regards

    Have you asked your solicitor the question?


      To be granted a possessory title the evidence provided to Land Registry had to show over 12 years adverse possession against the owner with the legal paper title.

      Section 15, Limitation Act 1980 provides a 12 years period for an owner to begin legal proceedings to recover land.

      The legal owner has to start possession proceedings if he finds out someone is in possession of his property, so based on the evidence provided with the application Land Registry accepted that more than 12 years had already passed.

      When another 12 years have passed since the Possessory title was granted, then any previous legal owner cannot succeed in bringing a possession claim against the registered owner.
      That is when the Possessory title can be converted to an Absolute title based on known facts that are no longer in dispute.

      The Indemnity policy was to protect the registered owner from any claim that sought to dispute the 12 year period that caused the possessory title to be granted, because an unknown legal owner of unregistered land would have had no notice of such an application served on him by Land Registry.

      Once the register title was granted the legal owner could still take legal action to disprove the claim that more than 12 years of adverse possession had already been established if there was any dispute about that claim.

      Once the registered title was in the public domain a further period of 12 years possession as registered owner could no longer be argued against.
      That is why Land Registry will issue an Absolute title based on the fact that a registered proprietor has now completed another period in excess of 12 years, so that there is no possibility that legal action can be taken to recover possession of that registered land, the title of which is guaranteed by the Land Registration Act 2002.


        Very useful information; I really appreciate your time and help. Thank you so much!


          This Land Registry guide sets out how to upgrade a title:

          Section 62(1) of the Land Registration Act 2002 says: "Where the title to a freehold estate is entered in the register as possessory or qualified, the registrar may enter it as absolute if he is satisfied as to the title to the estate." The guide is not entirely clear how you go about satisfying the registrar. At one time upgrading after 12 years was more or less automatic, though the old legislation said much the same thing. The guide certainly does not say that upgrading is automatic. You could call Land Registry enquiries but may not get a helpful response.


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