How to know if there’s a charge on your property

Whether you want to apply for a loan using your property as collateral or you would like to sell your property, it is important to know if there is a charge on it.
What is a charge on a property?

A property charge is a legal term that refers to financial claims that are outstanding on your property, such as charging orders or mortgage claims. For creditors, a property charge offers somewhat of a safety net and ensures they will be able to recoup the value of a debt should it remain unpaid.

Why do I need to know about property charges?

Property charges can impact the value of your property or make it less likely that a creditor will lend you money. Even if you aren’t planning on selling your property and you don’t want to access further credit, understanding property charges will likely be beneficial if you need to engage in legal proceedings over something like a shared driveway dispute, as you will be equipped with all the facts that could impact the case.

Identifying a Property Charge

– Land Registry Search

Conducting a title deeds search via the HM Land Registry will provide you with a wealth of relevant information about your property, including whether any charges apply. There is a small fee applicable to access this information.

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– Local Authority Search

You could also conduct a local authority search, which can highlight everything from the planning history associated with your property to whether there are any restrictions in place that could incur a charge.

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– Work with a Solicitor

If you want to ensure that you don’t inadvertently overlook any important information, it is also possible to work with a solicitor. Solicitors have the skills and knowledge to access databases and identify even the smallest details to ensure you know everything there is to know about your property.

When working with a solicitor, you may determine that using a Deed of Assignment to legally assign a beneficial interest in the property is a sensible decision. You can learn more about this here:

My property has a charge. Can I still sell it?

A property can be sold with an outstanding charge. However, at the point of sale, the charge must be settled. Outstanding charges will be declared during conveyancing, so you will need to be prepared to be upfront with prospective buyers.