Did you know?

Conveyancing Quality Scheme - What does it mean?

Harold Bell & Co are pleased to be able to be members of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS)


This scheme, promoted and run by the Law Society, is intended as a means by which firms, who are members, improve efficiency with common, consistent standards and service levels enabling the consumer to recognize practices that provide a quality residential conveyancing service.


As the Law Society have said “buying a home is one of the largest purchases anyone will make in their lifetime, so it is essential that is done to the highest standard by a solicitor.  There are many different conveyancing service providers out there, making it difficult for homebuyers to identify those which can ensure a safe and efficient level of service”.  Harold Bell & Co have always considered themselves to give a consistent common and efficient service level.


By being members of the CQS not only are we able to demonstrate to our clients that we fulfil the same standards of other firms who have the same qualification, but also that it is being overseen, even more stringently, by the Law Society than the normal practice standards that are required of a solicitor.


Membership also manages to establish, in most cases, certain panel membership for the Lender's.


Having undergone the strict assessment, compulsory training, self reporting, random audits and annual reviews in order to maintain our CQS status, we certainly hope that our clients will realise that this firm has kept up with modern standards and continues to provide those, as well as old-fashioned standards, that we believe all solicitors should uphold at all times.

A common misunderstanding:

How you own your property:

We find some clients are confused about the way in which more than one person can own property.

Joint Ownership means the owners all own the whole property. When one owner dies the whole property passes, automatically, to the survivor(s).

Ownership in Common (also known as Tenancy in Common, confusing as it has nothing to do with Tenants) means the proceeds of sale are owned in shares. This means you can leave your share in your will or sell it.

The shares can be anything. 50:50, 30:70 or any combination agreed between the owners.

Even more confusingly the legal estate is always owned in Joint Ownership. So any division of shares is applied only to the proceeds of sale (the Equitable Estate). Of course, by agreement, the owners can always elect to hold onto the property, even if the property is held as Owners in Common.

Still confused? We can explain more fully, for a modest fee, but in practise this means that if you want to be able to sell your ‘share’ of the property, or leave it by will, then you must have the register changed at the Land Registry to provide a restriction in the register, which will protect you from the property being sold without your consent or you not being paid for your share.

If more than four of you own any property, only four of you will be shown as owners on the title. Those four will hold the property on trust for themselves and the rest of the owners.



If you have owned your property for a long time it is possible it is still UNREGISTERED.  If so, you can protect against the deeds being lost (a very sorry state of affairs) by having a voluntary registration of them at a reduced Land Registry fee, for a modest fee to us for doing it (we can estimate for you).

The Land Registry (a Government Department) would love to have all property in England and Wales registered, as it would make their life easier, and yours when you come to sell.

The registration of land gives you a state guaranteed title, so there are no deeds to lose. However, your ownership will then be subject to anyone being able to search as to the owner. Registration is not for those that want to be secretive as to what they own. But, all land in England and Wales is subject to compulsory registration when there is next a dealing in the land. So it will happen to your land eventually, and any land you buy will be registered then or on acquisition

There is now no ‘Deeds’ representing registered land. The Land Registry no longer issue ‘Land Certificates’ and ‘Charge Certificates’, and if you have one it is now of no effect or use. All those years spent paying off your mortgage so you hold your deeds to your breast, are to no avail!

Your title is represented solely by what is on the register at the Land Registry. You can inspect it any time on the Web and print out a copy (and so can everyone else!).