Jargon Buster: Deeds
12 October 2023
In our Jargon Buster series, we break down the terminology of the property industry to help you feel confident and in control of your home-buying journey.
In this article, we’re discussing the term ‘Deeds’, and what it means when buying or selling a property in Scotland.
What are deeds?
‘Deeds’ or ‘title deeds’ are the terms used to describe a series of documents which prove the ownership of a property and the history of its ownership. They will include documents which cover mortgages, lease information, contracts as well as any wills or conveyancing.
When do you receive the deeds?
If your offer on a home is accepted, the seller's solicitor issues a qualified acceptance, which means that the property will be yours if contract details can be worked out. The solicitor will also hand over information about the property such as the title deeds and planning papers.
Your solicitor will send you the title deeds document once it is available from Registers of Scotland (now referred to as the Title Sheet). As it is electronic, the buyer should keep the email and title sheet as it will be required when they come to sell the property.
Go through everything you receive with your solicitor as they may raise queries about the paperwork. Neither you nor the seller is committed yet.
Finalising your offer
Once all the contact details have been agreed upon, the two solicitors exchange letters. These letters are known as 'conclusion of missives'. Both parties are now legally committed to the sale.
Your solicitor will check the title deeds and, if you are purchasing a buy-to-let property, discuss with you the 'title burdens' – conditions attached to owning the home ranging from where rubbish bins can be put to more serious restrictions on how the property can be used and altered.
The seller then signs the transfer of the title deeds, known as the 'disposition'.
What’s the final stage?
Next, you or your solicitor should contact your mortgage lender and let them know that the purchase is going ahead along with the proposed date of entry. This will allow your lender to issue their loan and security instructions to their nominated solicitor.
After your offer has been accepted, the sale will be completed on the date of entry agreed with the seller. The seller's solicitor will ask your lender for the remaining money owed (usually 90% if you had to pay a holding deposit) in preparation for the date of entry.