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Land registration law up for testimonial

A new formula for identifying which of two innocent parties of a land fraud should keep the property in question is among propositions for reform of the legal framework governing land registration in England and Wales to be published today.

The Law Commission’s examination opens within a week of the government publishing propositions to sell Land Registry to the economic sector, a move that would require main legislation.

The commission specifies that the privatization plan ‘is not a matter that falls within our job’. Instead, the 500-page document involves an extensive review of the Land Registration Act 2002, including manorial rights and chancel liability, overreaching and the protection of beneficial interests and registration of regional land charges.

A ‘prevalent problem’ is how the registration system responds to scams, for instance where an innocent purchaser purchases from somebody who fraudulently declares to be the owner, therefore displacing the legitimate owner from the register. The consultation proposes a provision formula ‘to clarify and simplify’ how the innocent victims ought to be compensated and which innocent celebration should wind up with the property.


The paper also analyzes whether more can be done to avoid scams, consisting of how the land registration system could consist of more effective identity checks. In situations like that you have your legal rights and you can seek help from legal marketing.

The commission notes that the 2002 act ‘provided for an ambitious electronic conveyance model which has not yet been achieved’. It is looking for views on provisional propositions that will help with a more versatile technique to the development of electronic conveyance.

Teacher Nick Hopkins, law commissioner for property, family and trust law, said: ‘The landscape within which land registration operates has altered significantly since the 2002 act came into force. Our testimonial provides an opportunity for landowners, conveyances, lenders and all those with an interest in the property market to tell us how the act has actually been working in practice.

‘It allows us to think about where we can bring greater certainty and security and what can be done to enhance the function of the land register as an assurance of title.’

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