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title deeds

Posted: 22 Aug 2012 15:43
by wayne3
Hi Nigel,I wonder if you could answer a question for me. I am looking to buy a re-sale apartment, of which I will need to mortgage.I have found out that the british owner of the title deeds passed away about two years ago, and her american husband is selling the apartment. How do I stand as regards land registry and bank mortgage? Does he need to have deeds put in his name? Thank you in advance, Wayne.

Re: title deeds

Posted: 22 Aug 2012 19:16
by Nigel Howarth
Hi Wayne and welcome to the forum.

I haven't come across this situation before - hopefully the lady who passed away left the property to her husband in her Will - or perhaps it is owned by them jointly - or perhaps her husband is her executor.

You need to get a lawyer to look into things to find out what the situation is. If, for example, probate hasn't been granted, the apartment cannot be be sold.

If probate has been granted and her husband is the executor, there should be no problem.

If she left the property to her husband in her Will, then it may be necessary for him to get the property registered in his name before he can sell it (but I am not sure).

A contract of sale has to be signed by the registered owner - or by their legally appointed representative - and as the lady has passed away...

If he does need to get the property registered in his name, this will add a further complication. As he is not a citizen of an EU country, he will need to seek permission from the Council of Ministers. Although there is every possibility that the Council of Ministers will give their permission, this will delay matters for around a year.

If she didn't leave a Will, things will get even more complicated as a share of the property will pass to her children.

So to answer your question - maybe yes, maybe no.

The British High Commission publishes a list of lawyers that you can download by clicking here. I'm sure if you give any of them a call, they will be able to help. (Phone 2 or 3 and get competitive quotes).

Regarding the mortgage - PLEASE make sure you have a mortgage before signing a contract to buy the apartment - unfortunately some people sign a contract to buy a property without having first secured the finance only to discover the bank will not loan them the money.


Re: title deeds

Posted: 22 Aug 2012 21:43
by wayne3
Thanks Nigel, we will look into this and I will let you know the outcome for future reference! Wayne.

Re: title deeds

Posted: 22 Aug 2012 22:07
by Nigel Howarth
You're welcome Wayne - and I will be very interested to hear how you get on.