Placing a restriction on the title of a property means no sale, transfer or gifting of that property can take place until certain criteria are met. This measure is commonly used by those looking to protect their interests. There are many different restrictions that can be put in place. The Land Registry has created a list of 30 standard form restrictions which can be placed on property, although new non-standard ones can be drawn up if needed. So, who can place a restriction on the title of a property?

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Protecting an interest

Since a restriction on property is usually employed to protect interests, it is only those with a true and demonstrable interest in the property who can put a restriction on it.

The registered owner of the property usually enters a restriction. Anyone who is not the owner but is entering a restriction on their behalf, such as a solicitor, must first have the consent of the owner. A restriction may be entered by someone who is entitled to be registered as the owner of the property too, such as a new buyer. In some cases, restrictions may be entered by parties with a strong and sufficient interest in the property. This can include a management organisation or a charitable trust.

A counter-fraud restriction

A restriction on the title of a property can also be used to protect you from fraud. Form LL restriction, known as the counter-fraud restriction, can be used to prevent fraudsters from obtaining identity documents and selling the property without your knowledge or consent. A Form LL restriction stipulates that to sell or mortgage the property, a certificate has to be obtained from a registered conveyancer, such as, confirming a person’s identity as the true owner of the property. The restriction states: “No disposition of the registered estate by the proprietor of the registered estate is to be registered without a certificate signed by a conveyancer that the conveyancer is satisfied that the person who executed the document submitted for registration as disponer is the same person as the proprietor.”

Such a restriction is not mandatory but is recommended by the Land Registry to prevent fraud. Landlords or owners of long-standing empty properties, in particular, could benefit from it. Property fraud has been an increasing problem over recent years, with figures showing that the average property scam costs victims £107,669.

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Selling a property with a restriction

Anyone who is selling a property with a restriction on it has to make sure that all of the conditions are met before the sale proceeds. Conveyancers will be able to help you understand and fulfil the criteria of the restriction. Restriction examples include ensuring a debtor receives their share of the sale, that land owned by a charitable trust does not sell for less than the market price or seeking the consent of a third party ahead of sale.

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