Top 10 tips for investigating commercial property title (checking Official Copy Entries).
Updated: Jan 21
When the buyer's solicitor receives the Official Copy Entries from the seller's solicitor, the buyer's solicitor will be checking the following:
Property address - does it match the address given? Does the property description accord with the contract description.
Date of OCE - are they recent?
Is the title number the same in the contract?
Is the title freehold or leasehold?
What easements are enjoyed by the property? What reservations affect the property?
Has any land been removed from the title? If so, does this affect the land being purchased?
On the Proprietorship Register is the class of title correct? Is the Seller the registered proprietor? Are there any other entries (restrictions, cautions etc)?
Are there any incumbrances or other entries on the Charges Register? How do these effect the Buyer? Which of them will be removed or discharged on completion?
Title Plan - Is the land purchased within the title? Check any colouring/hatchings that show rights of way, extent of covenants or land removed from title?
Check for evidence of overriding interests as these are not entered on the register but are binding irrespective of notice – via pre contract enquiries, Local Land Charges Search and an inspection of the property before exchange (e.g. occupiers, easements, or adverse possession). The buyer may be advised to reinspect before completion.
This note is not considered exhaustive and will depend on the particular property. It is guidance only and does not constitute legal advice.
21 January 2021
MY BUSINESS COUNSEL