Loss of overriding interest protection
For property owners, midnight on 12th October 2013 may have been a noteworthy date, marking the point when certain “overriding interests” under the Land Registration Act 2002 ceased to benefit from overriding protection.An “overriding interest” is an unregistered interest in land which, although not appearing on the registered title to the property at Land Registry, will bind registered proprietors and other persons who acquire an interest in the property (including any buyer following a subsequent sale or other disposition).These interests are significant, because while they are not apparent from an inspection of the registered title (and by implication, more difficult to discover) they will nonetheless, as a result of the provisions of the LRA 2002, be enforceable and burden the subject land.So which overriding interests have ceased to have overriding status following midnight on the 12th? They are as follows:a) a franchise;b) a manorial right;c) a right to rent that was reserved to the Crown on the granting of any freehold estate;d) a non-statutory right in respect of an embankment or sea or river wall; e) a right to payment in lieu of tithe;f) a right in respect of the repair of a church chancel.How you may have been affected by the above will differ from the standpoint of whether you potentially benefit from one of the above interests, or alternatively, are a landowner who may be bound by such interests. Exploring these two perspectives, the position may now be summarised as follows:If you potentially hold the benefit of one of the overriding interests set out above and have not made an application to protect such an interest at the Land Registry by the 12th, any change of ownership for valuable consideration in the Property following this date will mean that a purchaser will take free from the interest and its overriding status will be lost.From the legal owner’s point of view, you will still remain bound by any of the above overriding interests, irrespective of whether the benefitting party has made an application to protect their existence at the Land Registry before or after the 12th. However, if when you come to dispose of the land a notice has not been entered into the register of the subject land protecting the existence of such an interest, again, a purchaser for value will take free from the interest and its overriding status will be lost.So if you consider you may have the benefit of an overriding interest outlined above, the message is to act now. From the landowners’ point of view, the key date will be the next disposition, when such overriding interests may lose their status, if not protected by way of entry of a notice on the registered title of the subject land. If you have an enquiry in connection with the loss of automatic protection of these overriding interests, please feel free to direct these to Scott Hilton, a Solicitor in the Commercial Property team at Ashtons Legal on 01284 732 142, or email email@example.com
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