Lets get right to the point – there is no way of viewing house deeds for free, online or otherwise. So if you need to a copy of a property’s deeds, there will always be a fee to pay.
That fee will depend on what you need to know, and whether you need something official that will be accepted for legal purposes (for example to use in court, or to prove ownership to a solicitor or government body), or you simply need the information for your own purposes and do not require any official document.
I need Official Documents that are acceptable for all legal purposes
If you need to provide deeds to a third party, it is wise to ensure that you provide documents that carry a mark of authority that cannot be questioned. The only way to do this is with Official Copies. These are documents issued by the Land Registry and clearly marked as ‘Official Copies’, meaning they are (by law) acceptable for all legal purposes without question.
Your choice of document will depend on what you need:
- Proof of ownership, or
- Details of restrictive covenants, rights of way, easements, leasehold terms etc
Official proof of ownership of a property?
If the property is registered with the Land Registry (most properties which have been sold or transferred at any point in time after 1990 usually are), the ownership documents will be the Title Register & Title Plan . We refer to these as the ‘Title Deeds‘, because these are the documents that show who has title to the land in question. Official Copies of these documents are the only documents that are generally accepted as irrefutable proof of ownership.
The Title Register shows key property and ownership details as well as listing any mortgages. The basic information contained in all title registers is as follows:
- Whether the property is freehold or leasehold.
- Whether the title is absolute, possessor or qualified.
- Whether the Land Registry holds any deeds that show restrictive covenants, rights of way, easements.
- Whether the property is subject to any leases.
The Title Plan shows the location of the registered property and the general boundaries of ownership. It may also show areas marked with various colours to denote things such as rights of way or restrictive covenants. Any such colours will be explained in the Title Register and not on the Title Plan itself, so it is important to read both documents together.
Details of restrictive covenants, rights of way, easements, obligations etc?
These are the documents that we refer to as ‘Filed Deeds/Documents‘, because they are referred to on the Title Register as “copy filed” or “original filed”. Filed Deeds are the ancillary documents which contain legal provisions (for example, restrictive covenants or rights of way) that are imposed on the property and which are too lengthy to be copied out into the Title Register.
Filed Deeds may be conveyances, transfers, easements, charges, agreements, leases, wayleaves or any other type of legal agreement document which is binding on the property.
Filed Deeds are helpful because they can often solve property disputes over issues such as rights to park, access over shared passageways, boundary maintenance responsibilities, the ability to extend or develop a property and other such matters.
How do I obtain Official Copies and how much do they cost?
From HM Land Registry
You can obtain Official Copies of the Title Register, Title Plan and Filed Deeds directly from the Land Registry only by making a postal application using either form OC1 (for the Title Register and/or Title Plan) or form OC2 (for Filed Deeds). You cannot obtain Official Copies directly from the Land Registry online.
Using this method, you must download the application form, fill it in and post it with a cheque or postal order to the relevant address. The documents will be sent to you by post, usually within 7 days. It costs £7 for an Official Copy of any single document.
We supply the same Official Copies of the Title Register, Title Plan and Filed Deeds by email, usually within an hour of ordering. There are no forms to print and post, and payment is made on our website by credit or debit card. We can do this because we have a commercial account with the Land Registry that gives us access to these documents electronically.
We have made the process as easy as possible, and we have created packages that contain the most popular documents bundled together to save you time and money. We charge a fee for this level of convenience and speed, but our customers choose us because they deem this fee to be justified by the time and effort saved.
I do not need Official Documents, I merely want to see what information the Land Registry holds
In this case, you can obtain extracts from the Land Registry known as ‘title views’. You can obtain title views of the Title Register and Title Plan, but you can not obtain title views of filed deeds.
Title views are not deemed to be acceptable for legal purposes, so they generally cannot be used where a third party has requested proof of ownership. They are useful for personal purposes – perhaps where you just want to see who owns a property out of curiosity, or you want to check that your name is spelled correctly on your title.
How do I obtain title views and how much do they cost?
You can obtain title views from the Government website, here. It costs £3 for each copy of a Title Register or a Title Plan.
We do not sell title views, as they are available direct from the Government website.