Can Land Registry prove title on house?
My title deeds have gone missing. My solicitor tells me that the folio number (which I have) in the Land Registry is all I need to prove title. Is this correct? Yes – and no. It depends. If all you want is confirmation that you own the property then, yes, the folio will confirm ownership. Folios are the method by which parcels of land are registered in the Land Registry. The title is State guaranteed and the good thing is that there are no deeds, as such, to lose. The folio and map (file or filed plan) are generated by the Land Registry and they are a snapshot of the title on the day they are printed.
The Land Registry is a wonderful resource: it is possible to search against owners’ names, addresses, maps, folio numbers and now Eircodes as well. It is a public record so bear in mind that while you can snoop (for a fee) on other peoples’ folios to see, for example, if there is a charge (mortgage) registered, other people can peek at your folio too.
If your property is land with no buildings on it or a house which was built before the planning code came into force (October 1st, 1964) and had no developments since then, the folio is probably the only document of title you need (presuming you have direct access to the public services – road, water main, sewer).
On the other hand, if the property has a building on it which was constructed since October 1st, 1964 and/or had any developments carried out since that time, then your documents of title should also possibly include planning permissions, financial receipt letters from the local authority and some certificates or opinions on compliance with planning permission and with building regulations (since June 1st, 1992) or building bye-laws (before 1992 if the house is in Dublin, Cork or Limerick) signed by an architect or engineer.
If your property does not have direct access to public services the documents of title may include a Grant of Easement or right of way to permit you to access roads/services, although ideally such rights should be noted on your folio.
To summarise, if the property is land, only then may a folio suffice as the document of title, but if there is a house on the folio (particularly a house built since 1964) then the chances are there should be additional planning documentation with the title. Paul Stack is a solicitor at P & G Stack Solicitors
QMy house is 102 years-old, has two storeys and a basement. In 2009 I reroofed it, and plastered the gable wall. Unfortunately, it was plastered with a cement and sand mix. I now have damp on the floor of my attic, on one of the main timber beams, and on my two downstairs bedrooms.
The damp is only there in the past six or seven years. This year I got a building surveyor to check it out. I am only doing the recommended, remedial works to the outside of the building.
I have read up a bit about the products that shouldn’t be used on old buildings. Among other works, my surveyor has recommended painting the gable wall with a water-seal compound. I questioned him about its suitability and his answer was, “You must stop the water coming in”.
As this job is costing a lot of money, I need to be certain the water-seal compound is not going to cause more problems, and more expense later.
Is it okay in this instance to use a water-seal compound on my wall?
AYour house was built around 1915 and may well be Edwardian style. Typically a variety of materials were used at the time including stone, brick, renders and brick jointing with lime mortar. You provide no more detail of the construction, so I assume the house was built using traditional breathable materials. The works were carried out in 2009 to plaster the gable wall in sand and cement and dampness is now present internally. Were you aware of the source of the dampness before, and was it in the wall? The addition of a hard cement will prevent the wall drying and this may have affected the internal areas you refer.
Recently, I inspected a 150 year-old stone cottage that was riddled with dampness internally. It had hard cement applied in the 1980s. This was removed and replaced with a lime plaster that proved very successful. It was labour intensive and expensive, and economically this is not always an option. If your house is brick then
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If the moisture is entrapped then it will be necessary to expose the inner parts of the wall to ventilate and dry out the damp. Some older buildings renovated today are internally insulated with dry lining. It is important to leave a ventilated gap between the original wall and new lining system. This will allow any residual moisture to breathe and hopefully dissipate, and at the very least enable you to manage the problem. A “dew point” analysis should be considered to rule out the risk of interstitial condensation.
In your situation, I would avoid the use of any water-sealant compound. You should go back to your surveyor and ask them to review the matter in light of our correspondence. Alternatively you could speak to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (scsi.ie) and ask to speak with the chair of the building surveying professional group who should be able to put you in touch with a reputable practitioner experienced with these types of buildings.
‘‘ The title is State guaranteed and the good thing is that there are no deeds, as such, to lose.
James Drew is a chartered building surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie
Title Deeds show the ownership in addition to rights, obligations or mortgages on the property at the time of sale, purchase or transfer.’