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Land law: The Land Registration Act

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  1. The Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA).
  2. The wider scope for protection of proprietary interests both legal and equitable.
  3. 1925 Land Registration Act, section 70(1) (a).
  4. 12 October 2006, easements - subject to certain specific rules and the ensuing confusion.
  5. LRA 2002, Schedule 3, paragraph 1.
  6. The case of William and Glyn's Bank Limited v Boland ([1981] AC 487).
  7. The case of Webb v Pollmount ([1966] 1 Ch 584).
  8. Conclusion.

The Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA) came into force on 13th October 2003 implementing an overhaul of the organisation of registered land system, repealing the Land Registration Act 1925. The Law Commission Report Number 271 highlighted the central objective of the LRA 2002 being to create a land registration system that is an accurate reflection of the true state of title to a registered estate of land at any time. As such, it is arguable that the narrow system implemented by the LRA 2002 renders the unregistered system a more useful tool to protect legal interests against purchasers of the legal estate.

[...] As a result, Schedule paragraph 3of the LRA 2002 now provides that a legal easement or profit is only binding if purchaser had ?actual knowledge? of the easement or profit on the date of the land and transfer in his favour or evidence of the easement or profit is (b)?apparent on reasonable inspection?. Whilst these provisions in Schedule 3 appear to redress the balance between third party rights and purchasers in registered land, the new rules are complicated and it has been argued that in reality only very few easements and profits will be excluded from being overriding interests (Cooke). [...]


[...] This is in direct contrast to the provision with unregistered land (Megarry& Wade) and as such, the House of Lords in the William case asserted that the Hunt v Luck ([1902] 1 Ch 428) rule of equitable notice was not the same as the section provisions regarding rights of persons in actual occupation. Moreover, it was held that rights under section 70(1) of the 1925 Act covered all proprietary interests in land, which widened the ambit of protection for third party rights in registered titles outside the remit of equitable notice for unregistered land. [...]


[...] The Court of Appeal held that if a person had a right to whole piece of registered land, then actual occupation of part of the land was sufficient to have overriding interest in whole of land, which again supports the suggestion that third party rights are easier to protect against purchasers in registered title per se irrespective of whether the right is legal or equitable. Indeed, in the case of Malory Enterprises v Cheshire Homes ([2002] EWCA Civ 151) the Court of Appeal stated ?what constitutes actual occupation of property depends on the nature and state of the property in question, and the judge adopted the approach. [...]

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