DEAL OF THE MONTH FEBRUARY 2016
Deal of the Month
As a company accredited to the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), Red Square London Ltd encourages the adoption of the Protocol in its dealings with qualified conveyancing practitioners in residential property transactions. A comprehensive step by step guide, the Protocol is the conveyancer’s Bible covering the vital steps in a straight forward conveyancing transaction, from taking instructions to post completion.
Not all residential conveyancing transactions are “straight forward” and not all that start off as straight forward stay that way. The deal of this month highlights a situation where the conveyancing team had to call on their in-depth knowledge of the Land Registry’s Practice Guide to negotiate and complete a seemingly open and shut sale of a residential freehold,
Our client was the seller – a family of a mother and two brothers; one of the brothers acting for their mother under a Lasting Power of Attorney. One brother and the mother were proprietors of the freehold house held on a tenancy in common basis. The transaction involved a chain as the buyer had a related sale. The team progressed the matter through the Protocol process and though a chain was involved, exchange dates were to be agreed just over three weeks from commencement of the process.
Then came the news from our client of the passing of their mother. This sad event not only changed the whole dynamics of the transaction, but meant we had to manage an emotive situation while maintaining our professional obligations to our client, the buyer and related chain.
The Lasting Power of Attorney was revoked automatically on the death of our clients’ mother, so we advised our client to communicate the unfortunate news to the Court of Protection and return the Original copy of the Power and a certified copy of the Death Certificate of their mother to their Birmingham office as stipulated by law. We then had to decide on how best to deal with the restriction on the Register as the surviving brother could not solely pass title to the property to the buyer as a capital sum was involved. The only way to avoid a very long delay and the possible loss of the sale was to appoint a second trustee.
Faced with the necessity of a speedy appointment of a second trustee the team adopted the Land Registry’s approach of using a Transfer (TR1) and submitting a Death of a Joint Proprietor Form (Form DJP) instead of the traditional appointment using a Deed. Our unwavering commitment to client care also dictated that we thoroughly explained all aspects of the appointment of trustee procedure to our clients.
The Land Registry granted the application to appoint a second trustee, the Register was updated to listing the other brother as a proprietor. The restriction on the Register being complied with, the beneficial interest of their late mother was overreached and sale proceeded swiftly to exchange and completion.