Approved certificate of title

The approved certificate of title is the document the conveyancing solicitor gives to the lender to confirm certain statements about the property.

It was developed jointly by the Law Society and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (now UK Finance) and aims to reduce the risk of a conflict of interest when a solicitor acts for both the lender and the borrower. 

The certificate confirms to the lender:

  • there are no legal problems with the property – it has a “good and marketable title” - so the lender can safely lend against it
  • who will own the property once the sale is completed
  • the completion date when the funds are needed

Our practice note on conflict of interests was updated to reflect the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019, which replaced the SRA Handbook 2011 from 25 November 2019.

Section 8.2 of the practice note covers the approved certificate of title:

“You may only act for both parties where there is no conflict of interests between the two, and no significant risk of such a conflict occurring (see paragraph 6.2).

“The risk of conflict is high if non-standard terms are being used or if, in the case of a standard mortgage, you do not use the approved certificate of title.”

You’re advised to use the approved certificate of title if you’re acting for both the lender and the borrower on the grant of a mortgage.

See our guide on conflict of interests in conveyancing.

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