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Do You Own Commercial Property? Here's How To Get Extra Protection

Posted on Wednesday 26th July 2017 by Kerry Houston-Kypta

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You have commercial premises that you do not occupy. They’re either empty or tenanted – and now they’re for sale.
Just one problem…the sale is a fraud. You had no idea your property was being sold!

This may sound like an unlikely scenario but the reality is that we live in increasingly uncertain times. Fraudsters are becoming ever more cunning in their methods and are specifically targeting properties that are not owner occupied.

So you need to take precautions…


How To Stop Your Commercial Property From Being Sold Without Your Permission

The answer is simple: Form LL.

You can use Form LL to apply for a restriction on the title – an extra safeguard that proves ownership of your property.

So when your property is being sold and an application is submitted to the Land Registry for registration, there must be a conveyancer’s certificate to prove the person selling the property is the real owner.

Or to put it in legal terms, to prove that ‘the person who executed the document as disponor is indeed the proprietor’.

And now the protection offered by Form LL has just been tightened still further…


Latest Legal Changes To Form LL

The Land Registry has just issued new guidance with regard to Form LL.

Now the conveyancer must sign the certificate in their own name – not in the name of their firm or employer.

The solicitor doing the conveyancing can’t even get a member of their staff to sign the certificate. Only they the conveyancer can sign it.

And if they’re using electronic documentation, the Land Registry requires a scanned copy of the certificate signed in “wet ink” by the conveyancer.


What If A Company (Not An Individual) Owns The Property?

If the property is owned by a company then no standard form of restriction exists.

But the company can still apply for a non-standard restriction – which again requires the conveyancer to certify that the ‘disponor’ is the same company as the ‘proprietor’.

This restriction can also require a certificate showing that reasonable steps have been taken to ensure anyone who executed a deed on the company’s behalf held their stated office at the time.

For more information on buying and selling business premises, contact Coles Miller Partner Kerry Houston-Kypta, head of Commercial Property at the firm, 01202 355695.

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