Tuesday, 2 October 2012

New Certificate of Title - Boxing Clever?

The City of London Law Society (CLLS) Land Law Committee has issued a new version of its standard Certificate of Title – The Seventh Edition 2012.

Certificates of title are used by solicitors in many different transactions involving property, especially where there are lenders or in corporate transactions.

The CLLS Certificate is a well-respected standard document that is generally accepted by the legal and lending marketplace.

Why a new version?

The form of the certificate has been altered several times over the years to reflect changes in the law and also the way the information is presented.

These certificates can take a great deal of time to prepare and are not, putting it mildly, normally an easy read.

They contain many standard statements about a property which are then “disclosed against” depending on whether the title and other information about the property deviates from those statements.

It’s always been a challenge to present the disclosures in a way that can be easily read and in a way that makes it clear what general statements are being disclosed against.

In the past the disclosures were made in a separate schedule.

In the new version, hot off the press on 1 October 2012, the format has been changed so that every individual statement is followed by a “disclosures box”, where any disclosure relating to the statement can be inserted or if there isn’t one, the box is left empty.

Time will tell whether people find this version easier to use or whether people will get agitated over which statement they are meant to be disclosing against.

The CLLS also recognises there may be a greater risk with this format of people inadvertently amending the standard statements (which they are not meant to do) and so it recommends the certificate is sent out together with a black-lined version showing the changes made.

The new version also sets out to be easier to use for multi-let properties.

The notes issued with the certificate give more detailed information on the changes.

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