Imagine a timeline showing the dates on which a piece of land changed hands. Now imagine the names of each successive previous owner written between each of those dates. This line would stretch back from the present owner’s acquisition to the date upon which that land was transferred by letters patent into private ownership from the Monarch several hundreds of years ago. In the legal profession, we call this line the “title” to the land.
One of the most important jobs we undertake is to ensure that there are no breaks in this line by checking that each successive previous owner validly passed on their “title” to the next. We refer to this process as a “title check”.
How we check titles and why is it important?
We will commission reports on your behalf from Planning and Environment, the Parish Hall, Jersey Water, Jersey Gas, Jersey Electricity Company and Transport and Technical Services, who will each provide us with information about your property. We use these reports to obtain information about the location of the mains services and adjoining public roads as well as to check:
- That the structures have been passed by Planning and inspected by building control and that the property has been approved for the use which you intend for it.
- If built or extended in the last 20 years, the Planning department may have imposed conditions on the property and these must be identified to check that they have been complied with.
- That the property is not the subject of a closure order or other Court order, that it is not tabled for compulsory purchase and that it will not be affected by planned road-widening or other development.
When we have completed the above title researches and received the above reports from the authorities and utilities, we attend at the property to check that the contract terms correctly describe the property and to ensure that the boundaries are clear and that none of the neighbouring owners can force the removal of any encroachments.
Share transfer and flying freehold
Additional checks we undertake