A Leicester man has become embroiled in a Land Registry dispute after discovering he had been registered in error as the owner of two council houses. He claims the error has cost him a small fortune in legal fees.
Abdul Kadva bought his council house in 2006 through the Right to Buy scheme. However, he was unaware that Leicester City Council had made a conveyancing error by also transferring ownership of the next door property to him on the Land Register. The property is occupied by council tenants.
The error came to light in 2013 when Mr Kadva tried to re-mortgage his own home to finance the expansion of his printing business. He had planned to buy a new business unit which would have cost approximately £150,000 in 2013. The error was highlighted only when the mortgage company questioned Mr Kadva’s ownership of two properties but the mix-up meant that he was unable to proceed with the purchase. He says the property is now worth in the region of £500,000.
Mr Kadva has since been engaged in a legal dispute with the council to get the property registered back in the council’s name.
He said: “It has cost me a fortune in legal fees and I’m still the owner of both homes. None of it is my fault and I’m the one paying the price, financially and in other ways, too. This has cost me investment opportunities and the chance to expand my business.”
A council spokesman apologised for any delays and inconvenience, saying that “legal papers have been drafted and we’re making every effort to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”
The Right to Buy scheme allows the purchase of the property used as the buyer’s home.
When a customer has an issue with the Land Registry, they must go through the internal complaints procedure before escalating to a specialist in complaint resolution. The cases are often complicated and the facts must be discussed and understood by both the complainant and the Land Registry before anything can be resolved. The Land Registry’s role is hugely complex and requires high levels of professional expertise and integrity.
Land Registry will generally ask the customer requesting a correction to make an application for any alteration on the register and any dispute is referred to the Land Registration division of the Property Chamber, called the First-tier Tribunal.
With the property market continually changing and adapting it is not surprising that mistakes sometimes happen. If you’re having any issues with property or land registry disputes, contact Property Surveying for your local independent Chartered Surveyor for advice on your next move.