Absolute title and liability question



New Member
First of all a big welcome to all this is my first post;

I am currently looking at purchasing a 3 bed semi with what was described and advertised as having a large side plot with potential for development. My offer was accepted then we found out that a good chunk of the side plot was missing from the deeds. The elderly lady who is selling had lived there from when it was built new in 1971 till Feb 21. When my Solicitor asked about this she was adamant that the original deeds were wrong (never been reg'ed with LR) and the plot of land was missing. We requested the land issue be resolved (included as one plot) and the deeds updated with LR before going any further.

Looking at the original deeds it was the last property to be built on a development 50 years ago and the deeds show a squiggly Parliament Borough line ( a brook) from the front to the reare of her property at a very strange 45degree angle from the front to the rear and nothing bar fields to the right as this was only developed some 8 years later. My Solicitor advised me to sit back and wait to see what comes of it.

We waited for 5 months and finally the deeds were amended with LR showing the full plot as originally advertised and with "Absolute Title". I thought that was it and we could carry on with all the mining searches and checks. My Solicitor had always maintained caution which I could fully understand but after the amendment by LR I thought things would be sorted.

It was then my Solicitor then said,
"I still have my doubts over the land ownership, I might be wrong but I have to make you aware of this. Now that I have made you aware you might be liable against anyone putting claim to it at a later date because I have pre warned you".

I asked my Solicitor they still have doubts even after LR have sorted it, they said, "I requested from the sellers Solicitors copies of all the information they were sending to LR and they ignored my requested so because I have not seen it I have my doubts as to what they showed LR". I think they wanted to see some kind of deed title or purchase of this land but this would never happen as the lady selling has always maintained the deeds were incorrect at the time she bought it from new.

My Solicitor then pointed out that if I didn't purchase the property the next person who came along wouldn't have any issues with the title and deeds. It's only because both myself and my Solicitor know the history (seen previous deeds) that this is why she still has concerns and this is why I could possibly be liable if anything were likely to happen in the future i.e. someone came along at a later date to challenge the land ownership because I have now been made aware of her concerns which doesn't seem right to me.

I must point out that the sellers Solicitors have made some big cock ups along the way drastically delaying things by months so I think they basically got the hump with my Solicitor and they didnt like been told what to do and how to do their job hence they must have spat their dummies out and said, "We don't need you to tell us how to do our job, we've no need to show you how were applying to LR, go away !!". So as it stands the new deeds drawings match what's for sale and with Absolute Title.

My questions are, our my Solicitors correct in what they say that because they still has a doubt over ownership even though it has been amended both boundary and absolute title that because they have pre warned me of their concerns that I could still be liable if someone pops up waving a deed saying that's mine ?. We were thinking of hopefully building on the plot for ourselves but I wouldn't like the thought that someone could sue me at a later date.

I have spent hours reading up and trying to get to the bottom of this and I'm beginning to think that my Solicitor has simply raised a concern to basically wash her hands of any liability, cover her own back. I have also read that LR or the seller would be the people liable not myself or my Solicitor. My other question is, how much evidence do LR require when applying for Absolute title of a plot of land they have been in possession of for over 15 years ?. would they need to see say old title deeds for the land, receipts anything other than historical information ?. I'm trying to figure out myself what the sellers Solicitors actually showed to LR.

I am currently considering changing my Solicitor as I don't think they are acting in my best interest and that they are hindering the purchase by looking out from themselves but I might be wrong.
If anyone has any views on the matter please post because the person I am asking my Solicitor has put doubt into my head whether to carry on with the purchase.