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Encyclopedia > Land Registration Act 2002
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The Land Registration Act 2002 is an Act (i.e. a statute) passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which describes its purpose (in the long title) as an Act to make provision about land registration; and for connected purposes. It received the Royal Assent on the 26 February 2002. This is a list of Acts of the Scottish Parliament. ... This is a list of Acts passed by the Parliament of Northern Ireland. ... This is a list of Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly passed by that body during its existence between 2000 and 2002 when it was suspended. ... This is a list of Measures of the National Assembly for Wales. ... The is a list of Orders in Council for Northern Ireland which are primary legislation for the province when the it is being directly ruled from London and also for those powers not devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly. ... Statutory Instruments (SIs) are parts of United Kingdom law separate from Acts of Parliament which do not require full Parliamentary approval before becoming law. ... An Act of Parliament or Act is law enacted by the parliament (see legislation). ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Commons House of Lords Speaker of the House of Commons The Right Honourable Michael Martin MP Lord Speaker Hélène Hayman, Baroness Hayman, PC Members 1377 (646 Commons, 731 Peers) Political groups (as of May 5, 2005 elections) Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats... The long title (properly, the title) is one of the parts, together with the short title, and the operative provisions (sections and Schedules), which comprise an Act of Parliament or Bill in the United Kingdom and certain other Commonwealth Realms. ... // The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which a constitutional monarch completes the legislative process of lawmaking by formally assenting to an Act of Parliament. ... is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ...

Contents

History and purpose

On 13 October 2003 the Land Registration Act 2002 and the Land Registration Rules 2003 came into force, repealing and replacing previous legislation governing land registration (the Land Registration Act 1925, which initiated an earlier, though similar, system of land registration). This Act, together with the Rules, regulate the role and practice of HM Land Registry. October 13 is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Land Registry Head Office, 32 Lincolns Inn Fields Land Registry (officially known under the Land Registration Act 2002 as Her Majestys Land Registry) is a British Governmental organisation created in 1862. ...


The Land Registration Act 2002:

  • simplified and modernised the law of land registration
  • makes the register reflect a more accurate picture of a title to land (shows more fully the rights and subsidiary interests which affect it)
  • is intended to facilitate the introduction of e-conveyancing

This Act makes some major changes to the law regulating registered land. Specifically, it: Conveyancing is the act of transferring the ownership of a property from one person to another. ...

  • enables shorter leases to be registered
  • further encourages voluntary land registration
  • changes the system of protection of third party rights
  • it reforms and modernises the law of adverse possession (squatters' rights)

Land Registration

Under s. 4 of the Act, registration of an estate in land is compulsory when one of the following events occurs: Estate: The term applies to land under ownership and as such is a generic term for a parcel of land held by an individual or family, common in early British Gentry. ...

  • the freehold is transferred (this applies in all circumstances – e.g. it is sold, or is a gift)
  • a legal lease for more than seven years is granted
  • a legal lease with more than seven years to run is transferred
  • grant of a first legal charge (a mortgage)

Failure to register when required, means that the purchaser or transferee gains only an equitable title to the land and the seller or transferor remains as the registered proprietor. A person with an equitable title (i.e. who has failed to register) cannot take advantage of the priorty rules found in sections 29 & 30 LRA 2002 and may be vulnerable if the (still) registered proprietor attempts another dealing with the land. Freehold is a term used in real estate or real property law, land held in fee simple, as opposed to leasehold, which is land which is leased. ... This article or section should include material from Tenancy agreement A lease is a contract conveying from one person (the lessor) to another person (the lessee) the right to use and control some article of property for a specified period of time (the term), without conveying ownership, in exchange for... The legal mechanism used to secure property in favor of a creditor|loans secured by mortgages, such as residential housing loans. ...


Grades of title

On first registration, the registrar awards a grade of title to each registered estate.


In the case of freehold estates, one of the following grades of title may be awarded according to s. 11 of the Act: Freehold is a term used in real estate or real property law, land held in fee simple, as opposed to leasehold, which is land which is leased. ...

  • Absolute freehold title - This shows there is nothing dubious about the title. The estate is vested in the proprietor and is subject only to entries on the register and unregistered interests which override (commonly called overriding interests). Title does not have to be perfect - if the registrar believes that any defect will "not cause the holding under the title to be disturbed", absolute title will be given - s.9(3) LRA.
  • Possessory freehold title – there is no documentary evidence of title (e.g. lost title deeds). Title depends on adverse possession. It conveys no guarantee of title at the time of registration, but subsequent problems (e.g. forgery of proprietor's signature) will be covered by the guarantee. It can be upgraded into absolute title after being in possession as proprietor for 12 years (s.62(1), (4)).
  • Qualified freehold title - the title is subject to a fundamental defect. There is no guarantee in respect of the specified defect. It may be upgraded to absolute title if registrar is satisfied as to the title - s.62 LRA.

In the case of leasehold estates, one of the following grades of title may be awarded according to s. 12 of the Act: In common law, adverse possession is the name given to the process by which title to anothers real property is acquired without compensation, by, as the name suggests, holding the property in a manner that conflicts with the true owners rights for a specified period of time. ... Leasehold is a form of property tenure where one party buys the right to occupy land or a building for a given length of time. ...

  • Absolute leasehold title - same to absolute freehold except the proprietor is also subject to covenants in the lease
  • Good leasehold title - same as absolute leasehold except the right of the landlord to grant the lease in not guaranteed
  • Possessory leasehold title - same as possessory freehold
  • Qualified leasehold title - same as qualified freehold

A covenant, in its most general sense, is a solemn promise to do or not do something specified. ... This article or section should include material from Tenancy agreement A lease is a contract conveying from one person (the lessor) to another person (the lessee) the right to use and control some article of property for a specified period of time (the term), without conveying ownership, in exchange for...

Registerable dispositions

Dispositions subject to registration according to s. 27 are:

  • any transfer of any legal estate
  • the grant of a legal lease for more than seven years
  • the grant of a legal lease taking effect in possession in three or more months from grant
  • the grant of a legal charge (a mortgage)
  • the express grant of legal easement

According to s. 27(1): If a disposition is required to be completed by registration it does not operate at law until the relevant requirements are met. This article or section should include material from Tenancy agreement A lease is a contract conveying from one person (the lessor) to another person (the lessee) the right to use and control some article of property for a specified period of time (the term), without conveying ownership, in exchange for... The legal mechanism used to secure property in favor of a creditor|loans secured by mortgages, such as residential housing loans. ...


Priority

According to s. 29 of the Act, a person acquiring a legal estate for valuable consideration (having been registered successfully as owner), takes it subject to:

  • a notice on the charges register
  • unregistered interests which override (formerly called overriding interests)
  • interests excepted from the effects of registration (a category now otiose)
  • and if the estate is a lease, to burdens incidental to the lease

All other interests are postponed to the interest under the disposition - ie the successfully registered purchaser's interest gets priority over all other interests.


Note: if the transferee is not a purchaser (such as the recipient of a gift, or under a will), he or she takes the title subject to all pre-existing proprietary interests affecting the land.


Restrictions

A restriction on the proprietorship register prevents the registration of a disposition unless complied with.


This is the appropriate way of alerting a purchaser of the existence of an equitable family interest which arises under a trust of land. A restriction does not protect the priority of that interest, nor any right of occupation - it notifies the purchaser of the interest. In any event, in the normal case, the purchaser will overeach and in such cases it is immaterial whether the purchaser knows of the equitable family interest or not. (Law of Property Act 1925; Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996)


Restrictions are also useful to control dealings with the land as a secondary means of protection. For example, a person with an option to purchase land (e.g. a developer) should protect that interest by means of a Notice. However, they may also enter a restriction to prevent, or to be alerted to, any attempt to transfer the land in breach of the option.


Notices

According to s. 32 of the Act: A notice is an entry on the [charges] register in respect of a burden of an interest affecting a registered estate or charge.


According to s. 33, the following interests cannot be protected by a notice:

In all cases, these interests are protected against a purchaser by other means. In trust law, a beneficiary or cestui que use, is the person or persons who are entitled to the benefit of any trust arrangement. ... This law-related article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section should include material from Tenancy agreement A lease is a contract conveying from one person (the lessor) to another person (the lessee) the right to use and control some article of property for a specified period of time (the term), without conveying ownership, in exchange for... A restrictive covenant is a legal obligation imposed in a deed by the seller upon the buyer of real estate to do or not to do something. ...


According to s. 34, all other interests may be protected by a notice. Examples include:

  • equitable easements
  • freehold restrictive covenants
  • equitable leases
  • estate contracts, including options to purchase and rights of pre-emption.

The Court of Chancery, London, early 19th century This article is about the concept of equity in the jurisprudence of common law countries. ... Freehold is a term used in real estate or real property law, land held in fee simple, as opposed to leasehold, which is land which is leased. ...

Adverse possession

The Act is known for the changes it has made to the rules regulating adverse possession in relation to registered land (the rules applicable to unregistered land remain the same, and 12 years occupation nec vi, nec clam, nec precario is still required to obtain title). In common law, adverse possession is the name given to the process by which title to anothers real property is acquired without compensation, by, as the name suggests, holding the property in a manner that conflicts with the true owners rights for a specified period of time. ...


The Act provides that anyone who occupies registered land without permission from the owner and treats it as his own for 10 years is entitled to apply to be registered as owner, although the system introduced by the Act means that few claims will succeed. Specifically, according to paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 6 to the Act:

A person may apply to the registrar to be registered as the proprietor of a registered estate in land if he has been in adverse possession of the estate for the period of ten years ending on the date of the application.

The Land Registry is obliged to notify the registered proprietor of the land that an application for possessory title has been made. The registered proprietor then has 65 days to object to the registration. The objection may dispute the applicant's right to be registered as owner or, more usually, the registered proprietor will claim the benefit of the process found in paragraph 5 of Schedule 6. This provides that a registered proprietor who objects has a further two years to evict the adverse possessor. It will be enough to secure eviction within these two years that the registered proprietor relies on their registered title. No other reason need be given. Failure to secure the eviction of the adverse possessor within these two years gives the adverse possessor the right to re-apply to be registered and such a second application will be successful.


In three special cases, the adverse possessor may be registered as proprietor without having to wait for two further years and even if the proprietor objects. These special cases usually arise because the adverse possessor has some other reason for claiming ownership in addition to their possession for (at least) 10 years.


The new rules regulating adverse possession can be found in Part 9 of the Act, and the rules regulating the procedures for registration of an adverse possessor can be found at Schedule 6 to the Act.


These rules are much more difficult to satisfy than the common law with regard to adverse possession. It will be noted that a registered proprietor need simply object and then proceed to evict within two years. The adverse possessor's claim is therefore entirely vulnerable under the 2002 Act and the registered proprietor is protected in all but the most unusual circusmtances. This explains why so many local authorities are rushing to register their land. This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ...


See also

Chancel repair liability is a liability on some property owners England and Wales to fund repairs to the chancel of their local church. ...

External links

Original legislation

  • Full text of the Act as originally passed
  • Official text of the Act as amended and in force today in the UK, from the Statute Law Database

The UK Statute Law Database is a web-accessible database of the statute law of the United Kingdom, hosted by the Ministry of Justice. ...

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