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Can Land Reg­istry prove ti­tle on house?

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Advice -

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

Send your queries to prop­er­tyques­tions@irish­times.com

or to Prop­erty Clinic, The Ir­ish Times, 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin 2. This col­umn is a read­ers’ ser­vice. The con­tent of the Prop­erty Clinic is pro­vided for gen­eral in­for­ma­tion only. It is not in­tended as ad­vice on which read­ers should rely. Pro­fes­sional or spe­cial­ist ad­vice should be ob­tained be­fore per­sons take or re­frain from any ac­tion on the ba­sis of the con­tent. The Ir­ish Times and its con­trib­u­tors will not be li­able for any loss or dam­age aris­ing from re­liance on any con­tent. re­mov­ing hard ce­ment can dam­age the brick­work.

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.’

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