The beneficial owner is anyone who enjoys the benefits of the ownership although they may not necessarily be in residence nor even a name on the title deeds. This flexibility in this legal concept allows an owner the right to sell the property while still subject to mortgage charged against the deeds by a bank or building society. Clearly, the mortgagees will need to be repaid but, without court action, the lender cannot prevent a sale.
In law, the contract for sale will talk
about the seller being the beneficial owner. That implies this individual is entitled
to sell the property and gives a strong, implied covenant that nobody else has
an interest in the property. This is unlikely to cause a problem now that all
property effectively has registered title which should fully disclose all the
people with registered interests, including any charges registered under the Matrimonial
Homes Act. If these exist your conveyancer will seek the necessary undertakings
to ensure they are lifted to allow the sale to proceed.