What Are Land Registry Official Copy Entries (Oces)?
Posted on 4th August 2020
Most properties and land in England and Wales are registered with the Land Registry, an Organisation which stores copies of documents known as Official Copy Entries about each individual piece of land.
More often than not, when you are buying a property, the “important” things that you will want to know are things like:
- Does the property have a nice kitchen?
- Is the bathroom a good size?
- Are there enough bedrooms?
- Will I fit all my clothes in that cupboard?
- Are there shops nearby?
Now, our Property Conveyancing Solicitors understand that these are important factors that could affect whether or not you buy a property. However, most of the time, these factors do not affect the legal process of buying a property and, therefore, this is your personal preference and not something that our Property Conveyancing Solicitors would generally be involved with. That being said, you should make sure that the property that you are buying is right for you and ticks as many of your boxes as possible before agreeing to proceed with any purchase.
When our Property Conveyancing Solicitors commence the legal process, we are provided with what is known as the Contract pack. The contract pack provides your property solicitor with all they need, in order to ensure that the property is good and marketable. In simple terms, the property that you are purchasing should be free of any title defects, which could prevent you from selling it in the future, as well as being charge and mortgage free, so that you are not lumbered with somebody else’s debt.
Just because a property has been sold and purchased numerous times over the years, this does not necessarily mean that “everything is okay”. Potentially, a problem has been missed when the property was sold and purchased in the past, or no one has made an issue of any issue before now.
As properties are – usually – registered, our Property Conveyancing Solicitors will be forwarded a copy of the Official Copy Entries from the seller’s solicitors, along with any other ancillary documents, which we can then peruse and raise any enquiries about.
What are Official Copy Entries?
Official Copy Entries are documents obtained from the Land Registry; an organisation created to register ownership of land and property in England and Wales.
Official Copy Entries normally include the following information:-
The documents will state the full address of the property, and its unique title number (allocated by the Land Registry).
The names of the current registered owners, also known as the registered proprietors, will be listed on these documents. Our Property Conveyancing Solicitors will check with the seller’s solicitors that the person who is selling the property is, in fact, legally entitled to sell it. If a person is selling the property on behalf of an Estate (i.e. if a person has died), they will need to have a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. If a person is selling it on behalf of another person, for example, a parent, our Property Conveyancing Solicitors would be asking for a Lasting Power of Attorney or Court Order.
Quite often, our Property Conveyancing Solicitors can see the last time the property was sold and how much it was sold for.
Many properties will have a charge registered against them. A common form is a mortgage or a loan secured against the property. Our Property Conveyancing Solicitor will ask for an undertaking (which, essentially, is a form of legal promise) to confirm that the seller’s solicitors will pay off any mortgage or charge using the money that they are sent from us. They will also agree to remove the charge, upon Completion. Any charges that are registered against the property will be investigated by our Property team fully, before any sale or purchase is completed.
In some cases, there will be restrictions registered against the property. For example, restrictive covenants specifying acts that can or cannot be done on or at the property.
One, more common than you would think, example of a restrictive covenant is that you are unable to keep chickens or other farm animals on the land. With some covenants, they may bear no relevance any more, as times have changed since they were made. With others, we will need to advise you on what these are, how they affect you and your new property, and what you need to avoid or make sure that you are doing.
If there are some covenants that could have been breached by the former owners, we may ask the seller’s solicitors to take an indemnity policy (like an insurance policy) to cover you against any potential enforcement action arising as a result of breach of the covenants.
How can our Property Conveyancing Solicitors at MG Legal help?
Whether you are buying or selling a property, our team of expert Property Conveyancing Solicitors can help.
You can contact us online, here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a call back within one working hour.
Our team have years of experience dealing with Property Sales and Purchases – both residential and commercial – and therefore, we are equipped to deal with checking property titles (Official Copy Entries) and completing your sale and purchase.
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