What to look for in Title Deeds

Title Deeds are often tricky to work through so it pays to have a checklist and some idea of how your Deeds are set out. This information should have been given to you when you bought your flat.

If there are any gaps in your Title Deeds, you will need to do what Tenement (Scotland) Act 2004 says, but just in that particular respect.

Where you are looking for details of common repairs, look first in the property section and then in the burdens section.  You may find some rules in the "Deed of Conditions".

If you are looking for your building’s rules, these are normally in the burdens section.

The burdens section is almost always difficult to read with many old fashioned and legal terms.  It will often contain some interesting history about your building and how it was to be constructed.  Your buildings rules will generally be found after this historical part.

Your Deeds will contain definitions

  • which parts of the building are commonly owned ( "Rights in common.")
  • common responsibility elements – the ground on which your tenement is built, foundations, external walls, roof, structure etc.
  • mutual responsibility elements - close or stair, or drainpipes serving flats on one side of the building only
  • individual responsibility elements - parts serving only one flat – chimneys, doors, windows, skylights, vents etc

They will also state the management and decision making rules:

  • decisions that must be taken by all owners - common repairs, appointing or dismissing a property manager, what authority your property manager of factor will have  etc
  • how decisions should be made - voting rights and rules, rules for calling meetings, what happens if owners do not agree with a decision
  • management rules - how owners' shares are calculated, rules about carrying insurance
  • main door flats, shops etc with no access to stair – these owners' responsibilities  for cleaning or repainting the stairs etc
  • other rules - allowing access to flats to allow work to take place; “servitudes”, rights of access over specific parts of the building or grounds etc

Explaining legal terms

Use the checklist to note down what the Title Deeds say.