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Keeping your GP surgery property in order - Is your legal title in the names of current partners?

on Thursday, 25 January 2024.

GPs are often having to refinance their property assets or update their property documents following changes to their partnership structure. GPs can often encounter challenges as a result of important property documents not being kept in good order.

Ensuring that your property documents are properly maintained will assist in the smooth running of your future property transactions and will help ensure you are complying with the terms of any mortgage you have secured against your property. Keeping your property documents in consistently good order will assist you in saving costs and avoiding problems and potential pitfalls in the future.

In this series of articles, we will explore key considerations to help you  ensure that your property documents are in order.

Is the legal title and mortgage documentation for your property in the names of current partners?

 When a partnership acquires property (be it freehold or leasehold), the partnership will name two to four partners, who hold the legal title to the property. These named partners are shown on the property's title register held at the Land Registry.

Many mortgage lenders also require that all partners enter into the mortgage documentation secured against the property, regardless of whether those partners are named on the legal title to the property.

If a retired partner is named on the legal title to your property or your mortgage documentation, their name must be removed.  This is sometimes overlooked, and former partners remain named at the Land Registry or on mortgage documentation for many years following their retirement.

This can cause real problems for current partners and former partners alike, as current partners will not be able to sell, assign or lease the property without the retired partner's involvement. There is also a risk that any property transactions will be delayed whilst this is rectified - and you may even be in breach of your obligations to your mortgage lender. Most partnership mortgages contain provisions which require the partnership to inform their lender of any changes to the partnership - this includes any retirements or the incorporation of new partners.

It is important to deal with the removal of retired partners from your property documentation promptly following their retirement. This is because partners can often lose touch with one another following a retirement. There is also potential for a retired partner to lose capacity or pass away in the time following their retirement and this makes it much more difficult and costly to effect their removal from property documentation.

If you are not sure who is named on your property title or your mortgage documentation, this can be checked online with the Land Registry.

If you have any queries regarding the above or would like us to assist in reviewing your property arrangements please contact Kirsten Brown in our Healthcare Commercial Property team on 0117 314 5355, or complete the form below.

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