Keep it clean
Published 5 January 2016
If you are selling a multi-let investment property, a buyer will want to be satisfied that any historic leases (or licences) have been validly determined and there are no continuing rights of occupation of any vacant units.
Undoubtedly, any buyer will have queries if tenancies are referred to on the seller's/landlord's title, but not mentioned in the sale brochure. A buyer may agree to complete with these tenancies remaining on title, but, if so, will want evidence sufficient to satisfy the Land Registry that each past arrangement has been validly determined. Such evidence could be copy correspondence and notices and/or a statement of truth from relevant of the landlord's personnel. If termination of previous leases occurred sometime ago, problems could arise with locating copy documentation or finding anyone with sufficient knowledge of the facts to be able to sign a statement of truth.
More likely though, is that a buyer will require the seller to clean up its title prior to exchange.
In either circumstance, a delay to completion is almost inevitable. By instructing lawyers prior to heads of terms stage, we can assist in clearing up problematic title issues leading to fewer queries arising from the buyer's due diligence and, thereby, achieving a quicker sale.