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The Limitation (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Actions to recover land

Part III subject to Part IV

20.  This Part has effect subject to Part IV.

Time limit: actions to recover present interests in land

21.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), no action may be brought by any person (other than the Crown) to recover any land after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrued—

(a)to him, or

(b)if it first accrued to some person through whom he claims, to that person.

(2) Where—

(a)the right of action first accrued to the Crown; and

(b)the person bringing the action claims through the Crown,

the action may be brought at any time before the expiration of—

(i)the period during which the action could have been brought by the Crown, or

(ii)twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrued to some person other than the Crown,

whichever period first expires.

(3) Subject to paragraphs (4) and (5), no action may be brought by the Crown to recover any land after the expiration of thirty years from the date on which the right of action accrued—

(a)to the Crown; or

(b)if it first accrued to some person through whom the Crown claims, to that person.

(4) Paragraph (3) applies to an action to recover any land which comprises or forms part of an intestate’s estate to which the Crown is entitled as if the reference in that paragraph to thirty years were a reference to twelve years. In this paragraph “intestate” includes a person—

(a)who leaves no will; and

(b)who leaves a will but dies intestate as to some beneficial interest in his property.

(5) An action to recover foreshore may be brought by the Crown at any time before the expiration of sixty years from the date on which the right of action accrued to the Crown.

(6) Where any right of action to recover land, which has ceased to be foreshore but remains in the ownership of the Crown, accrued when the land was foreshore, the action may be brought at any time before the expiration of—

(a)sixty years from the date of the accrual of the right of action, or

(b)thirty years from the date on which the land ceased to be foreshore,

whichever period first expires.

(7) Schedule 1 sets out provisions for determining when certain actions to recover land accrue.

Time limit: actions to recover future interests in land

22.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) to (5), where—

(a)an estate or interest claimed in any land was an estate or interest in reversion or remainder or any future estate or interest; and

(b)the right of action to recover the land accrued on the date on which the estate or interest fell into possession by the determination of the preceding estate or interest; and

(c)the person entitled to the preceding estate or interest, not being a leasehold estate or interest, was not in possession of the land on that date,

no action may be brought by the person entitled to the succeeding estate or interest after the expiration of—

(i)twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrued to the person entitled to the preceding estate or interest, or

(ii)six years from the date on which the right of action accrued to the person entitled to the succeeding estate or interest,

whichever period last expires.

(2) Where the Crown is entitled to the succeeding estate or interest, paragraph (1) has effect with the substitution—

(a)for the reference to twelve years, of a reference to thirty years, and

(b)for the reference to six years, of a reference to twelve years.

(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply to any estate or interest which falls into possession on the determination of an entailed interest and which might have been barred by the person entitled to the entailed interest.

(4) No person may bring an action to recover any estate or interest in land under an assurance taking effect after the right of action had accrued—

(a)to the person by whom the assurance was made; or

(b)some person through whom that person claimed; or

(c)some person entitled to a preceding estate or interest,

unless the person by whom the assurance was made could have brought such an action.

(5) Where—

(a)any person is entitled to any estate or interest in land in possession; and

(b)that person is, while so entitled, also entitled to any future estate or interest in that land; and

(c)his right to recover the estate or interest in possession is barred under this Order,

no action may be brought by that person or by any person claiming through him in respect of the future estate or interest, unless in the meantime possession of the land has been recovered by a person entitled to an intermediate estate or interest.

Cure of defective disentailing assurance

23.  Where—

(a)a person entitled in remainder under a settlement to an estate tail in any land has made an assurance thereof which fails to bar the issue in tail or the estates taking effect on the determination of the estate tail or fails to bar only those estates; and

(b)any person (other than some person entitled to possession by virtue of the settlement) is in possession of the land for a period of twelve years from the commencement of the time at which the assurance, if it had then been executed by the person entitled to the estate tail, would have operated, without the consent of any other person, to bar the issue in tail and those estates,

then, at the expiration of that period, the assurance operates, and is to be treated always as having operated, to bar the issue in tail and those estates.

Possession of one co-parcener, etc., not to be possession of others

24.  Where any one or more of several persons entitled to any land as co-parceners, joint tenants or tenants in common have been in possession of the entirety or more than his or their undivided share or shares of the land—

(a)for his or their own benefit; or

(b)for the benefit of any person or persons other than the person or persons entitled to the other share or shares of the land,

then, for the purposes of this Order, that possession is not to be treated as having been the possession of the last-mentioned person or persons or any of them.

Administration relates back to death

25.  For the purposes of the provisions of this Order relating to actions for the recovery of land, an administrator of the estate of a deceased person is to be treated as claiming as if there had been no interval of time between the date of the death of the deceased person and the grant of letters of administration.

Extinction of title to land at expiration of time limit

26.  Subject to Article 27 and to section 53 of the Land Registration Act (Northern Ireland) 1970(1), at the expiration of the time limit fixed by this Order for any person to bring an action to recover land, the title of that person to the land is extinguished.

Equitable estates in land and land held on trust

27.—(1) Subject to Article 43—

(a)this Order applies to equitable estates in land, including interests in the proceeds of the sale of land held upon trust for sale, in like manner as it applies to legal estates in land; and

(b)accordingly, for the purposes of this Order but not otherwise, a right of action to recover the land is to be treated as accruing to a person entitled in possession to an equitable estate in land in the like manner and like circumstances and on the same date as it would accrue if his estate were a legal estate in the land.

(2) Where—

(a)any land is held upon trust, including a trust for sale; and

(b)the time limit fixed by this Order has expired for the bringing of an action to recover the land by the trustees,

then—

(i)the estate of the trustees is not extinguished, if and so long as the right of action to recover the land of any person entitled to a beneficial interest in the land or in the proceeds of sale either has not accrued or has not been barred by this Order, but

(ii)if and when every such right of action has been so barred, the estate of the trustees is extinguished.

(3) Where any land is held upon trust, including a trust for sale, an action to recover the land may be brought by the trustees on behalf of any person entitled to a beneficial interest in possession in the land or in the proceeds of sale whose right of action has not been barred by this Order, notwithstanding that the right of action of the trustees would apart from this provision have been barred by this Order.

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