What is A TR1 Form and when you should use it
The formal land registry document used to handover legal ownership of a property is called the Land Registry TR1 Form. In this case, the party or parties involved in the transaction can either be ‘legal persons’ (companies) or individuals. A handover process can also include transferring money from the seller to the buyer. Where money changes hands from one party to another, it’s termed as a consideration. When there’s no money changing hands, it gets termed as a ‘no consideration’.
On completion, the Form TR1 gets sent to the Land Registry, a Government Agency where properties in the Country are centrally registered. Deeds related to the property registration, e.g., leasehold agreements, etc can also be filed with the Land Registry. Other documents found at the Land Registry can include title deeds and Deeds of Trust that may have been involved in a transaction.
Note: In some cases, the details included in the TR1 form, which pertain to joint ownership, have to be dealt with using a separate form known as the FORM JO. While this form isn’t always vital, the question on whether to use or not is dependent on the policy put in place by the solicitor.
Until relatively recently, property transactions tended to be adhoc and it was not uncommon for individuals to hold on to their physical title deeds, and also exchange them when selling and buying homes. Even though this was necessary, it was also risky as the deeds could get stolen, altered, misplaced or lost. As such, having access to a centralized center featuring up-to-date repositories and records for the deeds assists in simplifying the conveyancing process.
While you may occasionally encounter backlogs at the Land Registry, its presence ensures that the conveyancing process becomes more reliable.
Today it has become mandatory and standard practice to inform and update the Land Registry of all UK property changes; however, it’s important to note that there still exist many old buildings and properties that haven’t been registered at the Land Registry. For new buildings, it’s necessary to ensure they are registered from the outset.
When it comes to residential conveyancing, the TR1 form is mainly prepared by the conveyancer representing the seller. They have to complete the form for the legal ownership of a flat or a house to be transferred from the selling party to the buyer.
Apart from a seller providing their official signature, the sellers and the buyers won’t have any additional reason to be involved in the completion and logging of the TR1 form. The expenses incurred in completing and filling the form as integrated as part of the overall cost of the conveyancing.
While an individual can obtain the form and proceed to fill it on without seeking legal assistance, there are exceptions:
- If you had sought the help of a financial lender, chances are that this lender will insist that you seek professional assistance when filing the TR1 form.
- Opting to complete your own TR1 form is a big decision as the consequences of getting it wrong could be significant.
Whenever a TR1 form is part of a transaction, usually all that is required is for the sellers in the conveyancing process to provide their credentials. They will also need to provide their official signatures once the transaction gets completed. When this is done, the solicitor hired to help with their conveyance will then log the form with the Land Registry.
Using a TR1 Form: What Should You And or Your Solicitor Do Beforehand
1. Check whether the property in question has already been registered with the Land Registry
As far as first steps are concerned, this is an important one, as it will influence the amount of detail that you will need to log with the Land Registry.
Your chosen solicitor can opt to use a Government service such as this one or instead use the index map to undertake a detailed search. In cases where a property hasn’t previously been registered you may find it costs a little more for initial registration as the time taken by your Solicitor, and the fee required by the Land Registry, are both higher than in the case of a property which is already registered.
2. Confirm the details included in the register
It is always recommended that you determine the contents of entries that have been made against a particular property. All the entries made for it will have an impact on the property transfer process.
So, what are you likely to find in the register?
You may find:
- A restriction: Such an entry will call for further action to be taken before the transfer registration occurs. This may include obtaining permission from a certain party named in that restriction, or getting a certificate stating that you have complied with conditions that may have been specified in a given deed.
- A caution / agreed notice / unilateral notice: you will need to make an application for its removal or cancellation.
- Where the property is a leasehold, there could be a clause included in the lease that requires the involvement of the landlord (the person who owns the land on which the property stands). In other cases, this will involve getting informed consent from the lender when the property is mortgaged. It could also include obtaining evidence that the mortgage has been discharged if you are intent on paying it off.
All entries included in the register must be considered.
When Should You Use the TR1 Form?
A TR1 form is used when a party is looking to register a property for the very first time, or when they intend to transfer an entire property mentioned in one or more titles to someone else.
Note: In cases where you are only looking to transfer / sell part of a given registered property, you will need to use the Land Registry Form TP1.
If you would like expert legal advice on completing TR1 form or and any other questions related to transfers of land or property contact conveyancing solicitors who will be able to assist you.
TR1 Form: What it includes
Here, we are going to take a closer look at this form by handling it one section at a time. It consists of:
1. Title Numbers
You will need to start by submitting the title number/s belonging to the property you would like to transfer. When dealing with more than one form, consider using multiple title numbers. For properties that are yet to be registered, make sure to leave this particular field blank.
Utilising this transfer form often leads to the transfer of the asset that is recorded in the title registration. As mentioned earlier, if you are only interested in transferring a portion of that property, then you will need to use the form TP1.
Provide a brief description of the property in question in the indicated box, ensuring that its postcode is accurate. For registered properties, you can find the details that are needed at the start of the Property Register. If unsure of how to do it, check the instructions given in the official copy of the register. In many cases, this will be the property’s official postal address.
The date to include in this panel will be the official completion date. As such, you shouldn’t include it until the transfer process has been completed.
4. The Transferor/s
This is where you will capture the official details (including the middle names) of all parties involved in transferring the property. Details required will include the registered owner’s names, as per the register, or any other person capable of providing proof that they are in a position to serve as the executor.
In a scenario where the details provided in this part don’t match what is recorded in the register, evidence as to why this is the case will need to be forwarded to the Land Registry. Evidence can be in the form of a marriage certificate or a deed poll for individuals who may have changed their names. Where the property was jointly owned and one of the owners has passed away, then a grant of probate or a death certificate is to be sent to the Land Registry.
Where the transferor is an organization / company / firm, then it becomes necessary to capture all the extra details that are in this panel.
5. The Transferee/s
You will need to provide the official names of the people who are to receive the property (should be up to four people) upon transfer. You shouldn’t include titles such as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” However, any other title that you may have can be recorded.
Where a sole proprietor would like to handover an asset to say two or more individuals, including themselves, then their name must feature in that section as well. It’s not possible to simply transfer a share of the asset.
Where the transferee is an organisation or a company, make sure to record all the other details required in that section.
The Land Registry requires that the transferee/s provide their correspondence addresses. The addresses provided can either be postal addresses abroad or in the UK. You need to ensure that you also provide the postal code or its international equivalent. It’s also possible to provide as many as two additional addresses that can either be a UK document exchange, postal, box number, or email address.
Transferees are required to ensure that their postage information is up-to-date at all times. This is because the registry may from time to time have to send vital notices likely to have an impact on your rights.
In all cases, this statement is considered to be relevant. As such, you shouldn’t amend the panel or add any new information to it.
In the first box, make sure to capture the amount paid for this property transfer. Where a transfer has been made as a gift, this should be noted in the second box. Where a transfer is for other kinds of consideration, you should complete the third box, and then submit all the related documentation and details.
9. Title Guarantees
When a transferor/s is making guarantees available, they are expected to provide several legally binding promises on their property title. So far, there exist two kinds, even though it’s possible to make modifications to either of them. Once the guarantees are made, they begin to inflict responsibilities that will continue to bind the seller even long after this transfer process has come to an end.
As far as this form is concerned, this is perhaps one of the most complex sections. It’s advisable to seek the input of a professional before proceeding any further.
Guarantees provided by the seller will include:
- Full title guarantee: The transferor is expected to state that to their best of knowledge, there doesn’t exist any third party leases and encumbrances, e.g. mortgages that are likely to impact the property. If any, the transferor should ensure that the transferee knows about all of them.
- Limited title guarantee: This comprises of a set of more restricted promises that are made by a transferor. Here, they will need to provide a guarantee that they haven’t led to the creation of, or facilitated the creation of, any third party interest, encumbrance, or charge that is still present at the time the transfer is taking place.
10. Declaration of Trust
When there is more than a single transferee, this panel must be duly filled out, as joint property ownership is a very complex part of the law.
Disputes can easily arise when there is a relationship breakdown between joint property owners, or when one of the owners pass on. To ensure that such disputes as minimised, there is a need to capture the intentions of the joint property owners in a separate Form JO or panel 10. You should note that this is seen as a starting point as there are chances that the intentions of the owners may change over time.
When you have more than a single transferee, they will be required (as joint owners of that property) to continue holding it in trust for all parties who have an interest in it. It is also possible for the joint owners to have a beneficial interest in a given property as tenants in common or as joint tenants.
Where there are beneficial joint tenants, they won’t hold any specific shares in the property. In case of a death, the interests of that person are automatically passed on to a surviving beneficiary, even if there’s a will that states otherwise.
11. Additional Provision
In certain cases, there could exist agreements or covenants between the transferee and the transferor. If this is present, ensure that the details are recorded in the relevant section.
Any person / party to that covenant or agreement may want to seek professional legal advice. The reason being that an agreement will continue to remain binding to the parties that made it, even after the transfer is completed.
Transferors taking part in the transfer of property will need to legally sign or execute the deed.
Where sections 10 and / or 11 have been completed, the transferees in this transaction will also be required to sign the deed.
When calling a witness, ensure that the person you have called is independent and reliable. Additionally, confirm that this is a person you know quite well, and who can be relied on to state that you did sign the deed. A single person is allowed to witness multiple signatures but they will also need to provide their signature and corresponding details beneath each signature they witnessed.
NB: A person that is a party to the transfer process isn’t allowed to witness a signature of any other individual that is a party to this specific transfer. While it’s permissible for a cohabitee, civil partner, or spouse of the transferee or transferor to serve as a witness, it’s recommended that parties try to avoid this scenario.
A TR1 form must be signed by a seller in the period between the property exchange and its completion. Sellers should provide their official signatures before completion has occurred. Its purpose is to indicate that a given party has purchased a property from the second party according to the conditions included in the form.
An independent adult witness is required to witness the deed.
Keep in mind that the Land Registry always has a backlog of cases that have been present for many years. This is a backlog that must be acted on before any new filings can be considered. As such, it could take several weeks or even months for the changes made in the TR1 form to start reflecting in all official government records, including those at the Land Registry.
When sending the TR1 Form, you will need to send it together with the certificate of identity, form FR1 or form AP1, and the stamp duty land tax certificate.
It should also be noted that if you enter information or make a statement that you know is, or might be misleading or untrue, with the intent of making a gain for yourself or another person, you may commit the offence of fraud under section 1 of the Fraud Act of 2006, which carries the maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment or an unlimited fine, or both.
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