Where to store house deeds

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Non-financial Questions' started by ElectronEng, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. ElectronEng

    ElectronEng Registered User


    My mother recently passed away and I'm the named executor of her will; the main asset is the family home. My mother had stored the deeds of the house in the property itself; I've removed these from there and now have them in my possession. The house will eventually be sold once probate has been obtained.

    My question is this: in the interim where is the best/safest place to store the deeds? I've employed a solicitor to perform probate but he doesn't want to keep them for me. Can I obtain a safety deposit box or something similar in a bank?


  2. Sue Ellen

    Sue Ellen Moderator.


    Welcome to AAM.

    Sorry to hear about your Mother's death.

    You could always buy a small fireproof safe and bolt it to the floor or keep it in a safe place. It would come in handy in the future for your own personal docs such as passport, birth certs etc.

    There are some previous threads on this subject here.
  3. askew70

    askew70 Frequent Poster

    I am very interested in the answer to this question too, as I am about to receive the deeds for our house from our mortgage provider and we have to decided where to safely store them.

    Having looked only briefly at the options available, I can tell you that Ulster bank offer a "Safe Keeping" service for which they charge €40+VAT per annum for a box, and €20+VAT per annum for an envelope. I'm not sure whether such a service is typically used to store deeds, but it may be an option.

    As an alternative, our mortgage provider sent us details of a storage company recently who charge €60 for storage for 5 years, and €100 for storage for 10 years, making them a lot cheaper than the Ulster bank charges above. I don't have the company details to hand but will dig them out later and post them up.
  4. askew70

    askew70 Frequent Poster

    I've dug out the info that I referred to above. The company is called Filestores, and here is their web page on deed storage: Filestores Safekeep Deed Storage. Unfortunately, the link to their brochure on that page doesn't work so I can't find any info on their site about costs, etc. (the fact that the website refers to a specific deed storage service makes me think that the more generic service details we received in the post are not correct for our requirements - the broken link to the brochure has the strings "€95" and "€150" in it which may or may not be significant). One thing to note is that the generic info we received talks of a maximum liability of €2,000 for any document lost or destroyed - perhaps that is more than adequate to cover the cost of replacing deeds, but I really don't know.

    Like the original poster, I'd be interested to hear what service other people use to store their deeds. We have spoken to two solicitors firms so far, neither of whom offer a service for storing deeds so it seems like a solicitor is not the logical choice that we thought.

    Also, in order to gauge the real risks of storing the deeds at home, does anyone know the implications of deeds being stolen i.e. is possession of the deeds enough for someone to have a claim to the house, and is it expensive to have stolen/lost deeds replaced/regenerated?
  5. mf1

    mf1 Frequent Poster

    1. As regards solicitors ( I am one) we do not want the responsibility of storing Deeds for clients. If the Deeds are lost, stolen or destroyed by flood or fire, then we carry the responsibility.

    2. If Deeds are stolen, it would be difficult for anyone to use the Deeds as security or to sell - think of the Money Laundering requirements necessary and it would become very clear, very quickly that the owner and the "vendor/mortgagor" was one and the same person as the person named on the Deeds.

    3. If Deeds are lost, then mostly they can be reconstituted but every case is different.

    My advice, if its not possible to find somewhere safe and secure to store Deeds, is to store them in as safe an environment as possible at home and copy the Deeds and leave the copies with a friend. That way at least if the Deeds go missing, there is a full copy available elsewhere to try and deal with the issue.

  6. askew70

    askew70 Frequent Poster

    Thanks for that info and advice, mf1.

    In relation to Filestores, their current prices seem to be €95 for 5 years of storage, and €150 for 10 years of storage. It looks like the info/brochure that we received from our mortgage provider only a week ago is old, and possibly very old given the difference in prices that it quotes. Something that both the old and current brochures mention is that there is also a fee of €20+VAT for the return of documents, but it is not clear to me whether this applies to any documents retrieved during the term or just to additional documents added to the storage during the term (which incur an additional storage fee too "at a reduced rate"). All in all, the Ulster Bank charges that I quoted earlier are looking much more competitive, and it would certainly be worthwhile to check the corresponding service offered by other banks.

    Does anyone know of any particular solicitors firms that offer a storage service for deeds?
  7. j26

    j26 Frequent Poster

    If I were you, I'd investigate the cost of getting a solicitor to create certified copies of them (in case they do get lost, it will be much easier to reconstitute title). If it's not too much, do that

    I'd then store the originals with either the bank or storage company (as the poster above suggested), and keep the copies elsewhere.

    The implications of losing them are that it is a defect on title, so in the current environment any prospective purchaser may require registration in the Land Registry prior to closing a sale. This could involve defective title insurance, searches etc which will cost a fair bit, and could lead to a substantial delay, or the prospective purchaser may just decide to walk away. Also, if you've contracted to sell the property at one price, and it takes years to sort title, the market could have risen and you would lose any of the benefit of the rising value as you will only get the original contracted price.

    Too many titles have to be reconstituted because people weren't careful enough with their deeds. Don't be one of them.
  8. askew70

    askew70 Frequent Poster

    Thanks a lot for the info, j26.