Q: My wife and I divorced three years ago after a long marriage because we both realised our feelings had changed and there was no point carrying on. As everything was agreed we did not instruct solicitors; we just paid the court fee and did everything else ourselves and then went our separate ways. I now live with a new partner and we intend to buy a property together. As we didn't deal with finances when we got divorced, can my ex wife claim against my assets?
Q: I have a bicycle repair and hire business in a tourist area which I set up two years ago after being made redundant. It has gone really well and I am now thinking of branching out into building tailor-made bikes. Due to the specialist nature of this I feel I would benefit from having a website that could promote the business far and wide. However, as I will be using photographs that won't necessarily represent the tailor made products that people will be buying, I am wondering whether I should include any special terms and conditions of sale on my website?
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Title to less than three quarters of land in England and Wales is currently registered at the Land Registry. This is because until the 1900’s there was no compulsory requirement to register, and at that time, registration was only compulsory when land was sold or mortgaged. More recently, the requirement to register has been triggered on completion of certain leases, the transfer of property by gift or on death and on changes of trusteeship where property is the subject of a trust.
Now, however, the Government is encouraging more and more people to make voluntary applications to register their titles. The Land Registry is currently offering a discount of approximately 25% on the fees which would otherwise be payable on first registration.
Whilst an unregistered title remains perfectly acceptable where none of the compulsory triggers apply, there are advantages in having your title registered:
1. The Land Registry fee for voluntary registration is less than payable for compulsory registration.
2. Once the title has been perfected by registration, then loss or destruction of the pre-registration deeds will not affect the adequacy of your title.
3. The title to your property is guaranteed by the state.
4. On a subsequent sale, the process is quicker and simpler.
5. Registered titles are better protected against squatters than unregistered titles.
Whilst there is a cost in registering a property with the Land Registry, the fee is less for voluntary registration. Finding out whether a property has been registered is, of itself, a relatively easy process. However, undertaking an application for first registration is a process which many often prefer a solicitor to attend to on their behalf.