Effective legal protection

1. Enchained title and protection: Let’s suppose that someone appears as seller in a document or application for registration. However he’s not entitled to sell in accordance with the LR registration books or land books because precisely the registered owner is a different person who has nothing to do with that one. What would your LR response be?

That will depend on the circumstances. If the seller is completely different, and there is no apparent reason, we may cancel the application immediately. However, if it appears that there may be an explanation, such as that the registered proprietor has died and the property is being sold by the personal representative of the deceased, we will request a copy of the grant of probate or letters of administration, or a certificate that the conveyancer holds one of these, if they have not been supplied. We are reluctant to cancel applications on receipt so will usually request an explanation and evidence before cancelling.

Other examples where the property may be sold by someone who is not the registered proprietor, or not the sole registered proprietor, may be:

  • There are two registered proprietors but one has died. If there is no joint proprietors restriction on the register the property will vest in the surviving proprietor who can sell, but we will need evidence of the death.
  • There are two registered proprietors, one has died, but there is a joint proprietors restriction on the register. This means there is a trust in which other people may have an interest. The property will not vest in the survivor. A second trustee must be appointed as joint registered proprietor in place of the deceased, to give a receipt for any money arising on a sale or mortgage and ensure that the share of the deceased in the money is dealt with in accordance with the will or intestacy of the deceased. Alternatively, the survivor must show that they are entitled to the interest of the deceased, and that the joint proprietorship restriction can be removed.
  • The registered proprietor is bankrupt. The property vests in the Trustee in Bankruptcy, who can sell the property. We will need evidence of the appointment of the Trustee in Bankruptcy.

This is not an exhaustive list. There may be other situations where the property may be sold be persons who are not the registered proprietor, such as the mortgagee under the power of sale.

2. Entitlement to alter or modify LR terms. In your LR system, the entries or registrations in the Registration books or land books on the registered properties can be modified:

The Court can make an order for alteration of the register for the purpose of:
a) correcting a mistake,
b) bringing the register up to date, or
c) giving effect to any estate, right or interest excepted from the effect of registration.

The registrar must give effect to the order when he receives it.

The registrar can alter the register for the purpose of:
a) correcting a mistake,
b) bringing the register up to date,
c) giving effect to any estate, right or interest excepted from the effect of registration, or
d) removing a superfluous entry.

However, if the alteration involves both the correction of a mistake and it prejudicially affects the title of the registered proprietor, it is defined as rectification. In the case of rectification, the registrar cannot make an alteration without the proprietor’s consent if the proprietor is in possession of the land. There are exceptions if the proprietor has caused or substantially contributed to the mistake on the register by his own fraud or lack of proper care, or if it would be unjust not to make the alteration for any other reason.

 3. Notifications. What sort of notifications for parties or stakeholders do LR offices deal with legally?

The Land Registration Act 2002 and the Land Registration Rules 2003 prescribe many situations when the registrar must serve notice of an application on other interested parties. This may be an objection notice (giving time for the person to object to the registration), or an information notice (simply informing the person that the registration has taken place). In addition the registrar has discretion under rule 17 and 30 to serve notice on anyone if he thinks it is necessary or desirable.