Property Documents

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What Property Documents are important to have?

There are specific rules and regulations you need to follow in order to buy or sell a property; one of them is to have property documents for the land, house or flat you own. The buying and selling of a property requires a lot of paperwork which is why the presence of legal documents is mandatory. You may also take legal advice from lawyers or agents in order to get a better price.

Let’s look at some of the aspects that will let you know about the importance of property documents and which of them you need to prove your ownership. For example, council tax documents.

why property documents need to be in place

How do I prove I own property?

If you are asked to prove that you own a property, the best you can do is to show the property’s title history. That means: 

  • Your “Ownership Interest” is equally good in comparison to the interest conveyed by the last owner to you.  
  • Others might have interests in your property if you used it for borrowing money from a bank or a person. 

Whenever you buy a property, the title company researches the “Chain of Title” for ensuring whether the previous owner has the right of transferring it to you or not. You can check land registry data in this regard to collect enough information to prove that you own a property.

Another critical piece of evidence you can show to prove the ownership is the Property Deed. The warranty deed is mainly used to sell homes. This also shows that the grantor transferred the title to you ultimately. You will receive it at the closing.

If your property has a “Mortgage Lien”, you will need a mortgage note demonstrating that you own the property, but you are still a borrower. So, you just have to pay off the entire mortgage to own the property entirely.

Sometimes, the problem also arises when people have to prove their ownership after the death of their spouse or partner. This occurs when the couple owns the property as “Joint Tenants”, which is one type of tenancy. Under such circumstances, you just need a death certificate and an affidavit to add to the Property Documents in order to prove your ownership.

What Document Proves I Own my House?

You already know that you need certain property documents to show that you are a house owner. The property may be a house, flat or a piece of land, and you must have the documents for verifying your ownership.

But why is it important to claim your ownership? Mainly, the proof of ownership is something you can show to claim that you own the house you’re living in or the land you’ve grown a garden into. You may also need to claim your ownership to avoid inheritance tax on a property. You may need the following property documents in this regard: 

  • Quitclaim & Warranty Deeds

Both warranty deeds, as well as quitclaim deeds, can prove the ownership. The former shows the owner’s name along with brief details about the property. The previous owner has to sign this deed in order to convey the ownership to you. But the latter proves that only you are the owner of that particular part and no other person; it doesn’t matter whether they are your relatives, don’t own it.

  • Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is another property document that can show the ownership. This also comes from the previous owner. As suggested by its name, it’s actually a receipt of who you bought the house from and whether you own it now or not. 

  • Mortgage Note

Mortgage notes are created by lenders for securing a debt. The owner gets the title to the house or property without a deed of trust. It indicates that you own the property which is having a “Mortgage Lien”. 

  • Deed of Trust

A deed of trust is needed when you receive a loan for buying a property, or you own a property, but you have to pay some loan. The land owner will also have a copy of this deed. This is less of an ownership proof. Instead, it shows that the borrower isn’t the only one who owns that land or property. If you end up losing the copy, you may find it at the Recorder’s office. 

All these documents prove that you own a house or a property and you may have one or all of those to show someone that you own it, and class use order plays a key role in that. 

What is Property Proof of Ownership?

We’ve discussed in detail what ownership proof is and why you need it. It is actually a way to claim that you own a specific piece of land in a particular area. In simple words,  property proof of ownership is any document or a set of documents offering precise details about a damaged or lost item as part of your claim. Your insurance company may also need it for some reasons.

One of them is, that it will show that you owned that item. The other reason is that it will be easy for them to compensate for the loss. For example, in case you have electrical safety, fire safety or gas safety inside your house, the insurance company will have a role to play.

You can use any of the following documents to show the property proof of ownership:

  • Electronic Copy of the receipt
  • Bank Statement or Deposit Receipt
  • Appraisals and Certificates
  • Photographs of the Items along with Serial Numbers
  • Warranty Documents

It is better to keep a digital record of ownership so that you may use it by taking a print of it at any time. If you lose it, you may collect it from Recorder’s Office as well.

What are Deeds and Documents?

We’ve previously talked about Deeds; we’ll discuss in detail here what deeds are. “Property Deeds” are the legal documents required for transferring the ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer. It is usually related to real property or land and the other part attached to it, such as a road or a building. In order to make the Property Deed operative, it must have the IDs of both seller and the buyer, along with a brief description of the property. 

Deeds can be of different kinds, depending on the kind of property being sold. There are Warranty Deeds, Quitclaim Deeds and Deeds for special purposes.

Let’s take a look at each of them separately.

  • Property Deeds

Property deeds, as mentioned above, are essential documents for property planning and are required for the ownership of real property. It is a written statement to ensure that the property has been transferred successfully. It is important to include all the essential elements of the transaction in the agreement. The contractor must be chosen by both the grantor and the grantee. And the document must contain the details of the property. Last but not least, the deed must have the identification and signatures of both parties. 

  • Warranty Deeds

This kind of deed is better for the grantee since it offers him/her the most protection. In this agreement, the grantor agrees to protect the buyer in case of any false claims from anyone about the proof of ownership of the property. The covenants that are a part of it include the “covenant of seisin, covenant against encumbrances and covenant of enjoyment”. 

  • Quitclaim Deeds

A quitclaim deed isn’t a warranty deed, and the buyer gets the least protection in this kind of agreement as it is compared to corporate needs. The grantor isn’t responsible for the quality of the title. If it is of good quality, it will be as good as the warranty deed. But if it isn’t, the grantee may be at risk of losing the property if someone claims to own it. Most professionals recommend not going for this risky option, particularly when you don’t know the grantor personally.

  • Special Purpose Deeds

These deeds are used more often in court proceedings or when the deed is from someone who is working as an executive. These deeds also offer almost no protection to the buyer. These include administrator’s deeds, executor’s deeds, Tax deeds and deeds of gift. 

Property Documents Checklist

If you are planning to buy a property, you must have a list of documents to ensure that the property gets conveyed to you in the best possible manner. So, the property documents needed for this purpose include: 

Sale Deed: It acts as the main paper for ownership proof. You have to register it in Recorder’s office and you must have it with you in its original form. 

Extracts: In order to register the new property, extracts are really important. It will also help in transferring ownership of that property. 

General Power of Attorney”: It shows whether the purchase or sale of the property is being done by some authorized person or not. This document will also be important when getting a home loan.

Allotment Letter: For getting a home loan, this one is an important document. The housing authority usually issues this document. It tells about the property and the amount the buyer has paid to the developer.

Agreement: This document has all the terms and conditions that both the buyer and seller are asked to sign. The amount paid for the property is also mentioned in it. 

Copy of Building Plan: This copy is required to let the higher authority know that you’re eligible for constructing a house or anything on the piece of land you have bought.

All these documents are important for having proof of ownership of a specific property.

Property Documents for Home Loan

The property documents to buy or sell a property, or to take a home loan are almost the same. In both cases, the agreement (mentioned in the above list) is a must to have.

However, you might have to show the property you own so, in case you don’t return the amount, the property will be taken over by the grantor party. We’ve enlisted the documents here as well:

  • Photographs of the person taking the loan 
  • Identity and Address Proof 
  • Financial Documents such as bank statements and salary slip
  • Processing Cheque 
  • Property Documents 
  • Appointment Letter 

All these documents must be provided, and then if you meet the eligibility criteria, you will get the loan.

How to Identify Fake Property Documents?

It’s not easy to identify fake property documents, particularly if you’ve got them from someone you blindly trust. However, let’s take a look at how you can identify fake property documents.

  • Use “Advanced Visual Authentication Techniques”

This is mainly associated with pattern recognition for identifying the documents. You must use it when you have to double-check copy’s authenticity. 

  • Look for “Unusual Formatting”

If you find any critical information that is changed in the records or the formatting isn’t the same for the entire document, you better check it to see if it’s a fake.

  • Use Scanners for “Texture Analysis”

Unique watermarks or logos, and incorrect font sizes may also be an indication the document is fake. Under such circumstances, you must use microscopic scanners to see if the data mentioned in the document is real and whether the font sizes are even or not.


In this modern era, it isn’t difficult to show proof of ownership for the land you own. You just need to collect the documents and show them to the relevant department.

Make sure that you choose the right grantor so that you do not get scammed and good look at your property documents.

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andreas gerazis

Andreas Gerazis

Experienced landlord

Andreas is a certified landlord with extensive knowledge about the UK property market as he has been actively investing for half a decade. Founder of the first three-in-one property management software, Lofti Proptech, Andreas has a brilliant understanding of the details surrounding what it takes to grow and run a thriving property portfolio.