What Is An Assent In Property Law
Posted on 18th August 2020
To put it simply, our local solicitors for Wills and Probate would explain that an Assent of a property is when a property is legally transferred from the Estate of someone who has died, into the name of the new owner or owners. The Assent is the legal name for the document that this transaction is carried out using.
Who can Assent a Property?
When a person dies, their name is not automatically removed from the title to any property that they own in their sole name or that they co-own. To remove a person’s name, the Land Registry will require evidence that the person who owns, or partially owns, a property has died. Quite often, they will also need further documentation, such as an Assent form.
If a property is owned jointly by two people and one owner dies, the survivor will receive the deceased’s share of the property, under the right of survivorship. If the Land is registered, it would simply be a case of applying to the Land Registry using form DJP. The Land Registry will simply remove the person’s name and update the register.
Sole Owner or Tenants in Common with a Co-owner
If there is no surviving co-owner, or a property is held as Tenants in Common, it will be left to the Personal Representative to deal with the property. In order to deal with this, the Personal Representatives will need to apply for either Letters of Administration or a Grant of Probate, known collectively as Grants of Representation. This document will give the Personal Representative the legal authority to deal with any assets owned by the deceased, including the authority to sell, transfer or assent any property.
How is a property assented?
Now-a-days, most land or property will be registered with the Land Registry, under rule 58 of the Land Registration Rules 2003, which states that an Assent must be made on Form AS1 or AS3, depending on whether the transfer is of a whole or part of a title. An AP1 application form must also be submitted. The Land Registry will require these completed forms, along with a copy of the Grant of Representation, identity documents for the parties involved, along with any other required evidence.
With unregistered land, the Land Registration Rules 2003 section 53 do not apply, and therefore you may find that some of the older Assents are set out in the format of a Conveyance, and not the new forms. However, if you were attempting to Assent unregistered land now, you will need to submit a complete AS1 or AS3 form, along with a FR1 and DL form for first registrations. The Land Registry will also need sight of the Title Deeds and any other necessary evidence.
If you think that your property or land may be unregistered, you do not have to wait for a compulsory transaction (such as a property sale or purchase, transfer or Assent) to deal with the registration. Our Property Conveyancing Solicitors find that voluntary first registrations are increasingly popular in Garstang, Lancaster and Longridge, with our Property Conveyancing clients taking it upon themselves to deal with registering their property. This can help to prevent any delays or issues cropping up if you decide to sell or transfer your property in the future. You can read more about voluntary first registrations, here.
Assent, transfer or Conveyance?
When a property is assented, it can only be assented from the Estate of somebody who has died. The Assent cannot be for value, so if a beneficiary is planning on compensating the Estate for part of the value of the property, it would need to be assented to the Personal Representatives and then transferred to the new owner for the correct value or consideration. Essentially, the easiest way to think of an Assent is like a gift from the Estate to the new owners: a gift is never made in return for money.
What happens after a property is Assented?
The Assent will be deemed legally complete from the date upon which the relevant Form AS1/AS3 is dated. From this date onwards, the new owners are then legally responsible for the property, and all liabilities therewith.
The Assent will need to be registered with the Land Registry, by way of the methods we discuss above, in order to note the change in ownership on the Register of Title to the property.
Get Legal Advice
To discuss the Estate of somebody who has passed away, you can contact our local solicitors for Wills and Probate online, here, or via email to email@example.com. As experts in dealing with applications for Grants of Representation and the administration of Estates, our team deal with Assenting properties on a regular basis.
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