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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 21993
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Someone I know bought a property approximately 30 years ago. When

Resolved Question:

Someone I know bought a property approximately 30 years ago.

When they purchased the property it was bought under a different alias to their legal name. Now they want to sell the property however the alias name is XXXXX XXXXX property deeds.

The deeds to the property are in the person's possession.

If this person legally changed their name to the alias the house was bought under then is there anything stopping them selling the property?

Is there any other easier way to sell the property?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to help you with this today. Please bear with me if I ask for more information.

What proof do they have that the old name was an alias?
Why did they do that?

Can we have the background please as to the earlier events? Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No Proof, there are no legal documents linking them to that alias other than the property deeds.


I'm not sure why.




Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The quetsion is:


If they change their name to the alias the house was bought under, legally, will they have any problems selling the property?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.
I can answer your question directly. Simply doing what is proposed will not work by any stretch of even a very vivid imagination. The person is going to have to jump through a lot of hoops.
Yes, they are likely to have a problem selling the property, because firstly, the solicitor dealing with the sale will want at least two forms of identification and residence such as a passport, driving licence and utility bill and secondly because they’re going to have to come up with proof of their old identity and a plausible reason as to why the property was bought in a different name.
There also raises the issue of how this person managed to buy these properties in the first place without giving any real identification to the solicitor acting on the purchase at the time.
If it was as easy as simply changing and game by deed poll, or statutory declaration, then anyone could steal preregistration title deeds, change their name quite simply to that on the deeds and then sell the property as their own. There are more checks in place to prevent this.
Solicitors examine identification documents extremely closely and very often use third-party companies to verify that. This is not going to be at all easy. Even assuming that all the necessary papers are in place.
The seller is going to have to come up with some evidence which proves that the person named on the deeds and the person in front of the solicitor is one and the same.
Provided the seller comes up with a whole raft of paperwork which proves that the person now wanting to sell the property is the person that bought the property, 30 years ago, although it will be long winded, it should resolve itself. If the person has no proof, they are going to struggle.
Does that answer the question?
Can I answer any specific questions?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the comprehensive answer.


if the person changed their name and had passport, utility bill, driving license etc.. Why would the solicitor have any reason to think that the person who is not who they say they are or that they had another identity?


What checks would the solicitor carry that would flag up a recent change of name and if there are checks then how routinely are they carried out?


If the person cannot do this and cannot show any evidence of old alias then what will happen to the property? Say for example if this person died? The death certificate would not show the alias and therefore the property would still belong to an alias that cannot be proved to be anything other than alive.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.
If the person changed their name (extremely easy to do) they would also need to change their utility bills, bank accounts (to receive the money from the sale), driving licence and passport.
Most solicitors use an outside company called Verify which flags up a recent change of name. There are others available also.
Because identity fraud is such a big thing now, and I have knowledge of several firms where the sellers of properties have not actually owned the properties would have simply taken the identity, I can tell you that solicitors are really hot on this and if anything is the least bit untoward, they would decline to act and report it to the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Of course, if everything is completely above board, there is nothing to fear because there is nothing to hide.
If someone died without having dealt with this, the executors would have to dig for evidence and ultimately sign various statutory declarations with regard to the previous ownership of the property and it would be the land registry decision as to whether they accept that evidence.
If they cannot come up with evidence sufficient to satisfy the land registry, they are faced with going to court.
There is going to need to be some evidence also whether it is the only bit is dealing with this or executors of an estate as to why this was done in the first place and secondly as to why it is only come to light now, after 30 years.
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 21993
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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