Mortgages, Equity Releases, Covenants and Land Charges

When a property owner borrows money using the property and land as security, either by mortgage or equity release scheme, the bank, building society or mortgage lender will need to be assured that the property being used to secure that money is of ‘good and marketable title’.  The lender will either instruct an independent solicitor to check through the title to the land, or where there is no possibility of a conflict of interest arising, may instruct the same solicitor as that instructed by the property owner or buyer. The lender will rely on a solicitor’s certificate of title before releasing the borrowed money to the borrower’s solicitor.

In order to be able to act for a lender, the relevant solicitor’s firm will need to be approved and registered by the mortgage lender concerned.  We are registered and approved as panel solicitors for the vast majority of the mortgage lenders in England and Wales.  We can recommend appropriate lenders, independent financial advisers or mortgage brokers for your purposes, though we cannot give clients specific financial advice.

A considerable amount of the land in England and Wales is still unregistered. Where charges and obligations relating to unregistered land are relevant, the charge or obligation will be noted against a person’s name at the Land Charges Registry. It is important to be aware of the nature and effect of Land Charges as they may (if properly entered and registered) bind future owners of the land concerned even though the issues were not agreed to by anyone but the original parties, many years before.  The matters will not necessarily be registered anywhere else so a detailed knowledge and experience of unregistered land is essential to discover and advise upon Land Charges and their effect on the title.

If you would like to know more please contact Richard Robson or Scott Burdett.