Good Leasehold Title – How can I upgrade this class of title with Land Registry?

The Land Registry receives a number of applications to register new ownership involving cases where the title of the landlord to grant the lease that is being registered has not actually been produced to Land Registry.

In these circumstances, as the Land Registry do not have any evidence to show that the landlord had the full authority to grant the lease in the first place, they will grant ‘good leasehold title’. Prior to June 2006 good leasehold title would also be granted where a superior lessor’s or mortgagee’s consent was not produced, where required.

Ideally, you would want to see the property owned with title absolute which is the highest form of ownership, so, if possible, you should apply to upgrade good leasehold title.

Only the registered owner or a person entitled to be the registered owner is entitled to apply to upgrade ownership. A person entitled to be registered may be a personal representative, or someone who has just completed the purchase of a registered estate, for example.

When applying you must produce the following documents:

Evidence of the lessor’s title and where he is not the freeholder, the title to any other ‘reversionary titles’ up to an including the freeholder.

Where good leasehold title was granted before June 2006 and it was a result of a mortgagee’s consent or lessor’s consent not being provided then you can apply to upgrade title by producing that consent, if available. If it is not available, you can apply to upgrade on the basis of current Land Registry practice.

Land Registry will then make an entry in the Register setting out the position as regards the missing consent so any party inspecting the Register is put on notice.

Form UT1 must be completed and submitted in order to apply to upgrade class of title. You can apply to upgrade different classes of title but this article only focuses on good leasehold since it is very common.

It is important to note that some lenders will not lend on a property where it is registered with good leasehold title so it is important that you and your conveyancer pick up on this early on during the transaction so you can change lenders if necessary.

Many lenders will lend, however, but you will have to take out indemnity insurance on completion.  

Your Conveyancing Solicitor should raise enquiries early on to ascertain whether the seller has information or documentation which could be submitted to Land Registry to have the class of title upgraded. This can be done before or after completion.