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Policy for storage of documents relating to residential properties

With effect from: 1 June 2014


The firm has introduced a new policy for the storage of documents relating to residential properties for the following reasons:-

A. We are already storing a large amount of documents at considerable cost when few, if any, similar bodies (such as banks) will now store documents and any that do will charge for doing so.

B. The titles to virtually all residential properties are now registered which means that what are traditionally known as “deeds” are not really actually deeds at all and are no longer required to sell the property.  The need to keep them securely stored is therefore substantially reduced.

C. Because these documents are no longer required to sell property with a registered title, it is possible that properties for which we are holding documents are sold without them ever being retrieved from our store. This means we could continue to store these documents at our cost forever.

The firm’s new policy is consequently not to store any new packages of documents save in the following circumstances:-

1.1 They are required on a relatively short term basis for the purpose of instructions we are presently carrying out (or are likely to carry out) in the foreseeable future. Typically this would mean in the next 12 months.
1.2 Clients may make a specific application for us to store their documents by completing and returning to us our Documents Storage Application Form. This includes an agreement to the principle of us charging for the storage of documents (based on the number of years we have held them).

We may, at our discretion, continue to store documents which we held on 31 May 2014.  However, where the opportunity arises, it is likely we will return these documents unless title to the property in question is unregistered or a specific application for us to continue to store them is made. Such opportunity will most commonly arise when we are sending new sets of documents out to clients for whom we were already storing documents relating to other properties.

Any requests for us to send documents out should be made on our standard Document Request Form accompanied by the documents requested in it. This can be obtained by contacting our Reception team.