We've been writing quite a bit recently about buying a Lordship title and the legalities behind it. It is safe to say that the waters around this particular practice are choppy, and there is a lot of criticism about the companies that operate these services. Many believe they are a scam.
We have written about two companies operating in Scotland and using a loophole in Scots Law to bestow the title of 'Laird' (Scottish lord). Both seem to be completely legal. And to our understanding, English titles were very different. That was until we came across Elite Titles; a company that claims to be selling Lordships
Who is Elite Titles?
Elite titles seem to be a brand that sells 'English Titles' from their home in Dorset. They were established by Andrew Bulpin after he read an article in a newspaper detailing the benefits of having 'Lord' or 'Lady' title. The 'numerous perks' that they were given after announcing themselves as having a peerage title. A title of status.
Elite Titles was established in 1998, and has since been selling titles to those who wish to enjoy the same life of 'status' that is sold on the website, and via the reviews online. We came across some of the other websites that sell 'Land Ownership' and other services, like this one: https://buyapieceofdartmouth.uk/. Other than this, we really couldn't find much about the people behind the company - which when compared to Highland Titles (for example) is very unusual.
We searched long and hard, but we didn't find a registered UK company that is directy attached to these brands. What we did find is a string of different companies under a few different versions of the same name, from Torquay. Some caravan parks and some others.
What do the Reviews Say?
While Elite Titles have been selling titles since the late 90's, there are very, very few online reviews from 3rd party sites. We found some on reviews.io that are very positive.
They were posted as far back as 4 years ago and the other from more recently ( this post is published in August -2022)
The most recent review is quite a sad one. We know that somebody cannot legally buy a 'knighthood' as this must be bestowed by royalty (as detailed here in Forbes).
Is Elite Titles legit or a Scam?
We'd not like to make any assertions on this, but there is plenty of documented opinions that suggest that Elite Titles is a Scam: Including Robert Smith (the then chairman of the Manorial Society) and suggest that this is a simple 'deed pole' change of name.
This is when your name is changed to 'Lord' or 'Lady' rather than your title (you'll be called Mr Lord Andrew Bullpin - for example).
This was discussed a few years ago on Reddit (most likely down to a number of articles by Lord Toby Walne) - on a forum dedicated to legal advice. The contributors mainly sided with the Manorial Society.
The controversy may have been quite intense at the time, as the elite titles website published an article as a response to dispel any negative assertions about the company's practices - and this was quickly discarded by contributors of the forum.
From what we understand about the laws surrounding this practice is that, unlike Scottish land ownership laws, it is not possible for a person to change their title such as 'Sir' or 'Dame' legally, without it being bestowed on the person by the state (which Elite Titles claim not to own). You cannot legally change your title to 'Sir/Dame' without a 'knighthood' - so the sale of these tiles is dubious to say the least.
There is no detailed explanation or reference to a legal infrastructure that they are using (unlike other companies selling similar services), so it does seem as though the company may be using deed pole changes.
As far as whether you believe that Elite Titles is a Scam, we will let you make that assertion with a little bit more of your own research.