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Land Registration Act 2002

Section 11: Freehold estates

40.Section 11 sets out the effect of first registration as the proprietor of a freehold estate. Subsections (2) to (5) prescribe the effect of registration of a freehold with absolute title. Where a person is first registered as proprietor of a freehold estate, subsection (3) provides that the legal estate is vested in him or her together with all interests subsisting for the benefit of the estate. The legal estate will therefore vest in the first registered proprietor together with such interests as (for example) the benefit of any easement and profit à prendre that is appurtenant to the estate.

41.Subsection (4) provides that on first registration with absolute title, the estate is vested in the proprietor subject only to the following interests affecting the estate at the time of registration :


Interests which are the subject of an entry in the register in relation to the estate. As this provision only applies to first registration under the Act, the interests which may be subject to an entry in the register will be registered charges, notices and restrictions.


Unregistered interests which fall within any of the paragraphs of Schedule 1 (that is, those that override first registration).


Interests acquired under the Limitation Act 1980 of which the proprietor has notice. This provision is new and is designed to meet the following situation. A takes adverse possession of unregistered land belonging to B. After 12 years’ adverse possession, B’s title is extinguished and A becomes owner of the land. A then abandons the land and B resumes possession of it. Before B has been back in possession of the land for 12 years he sells it to C. B sells as paper owner in accordance with the title deeds, but A is in fact the true owner. The sale triggers compulsory registration and C applies to be first registered proprietor. Subject to the transitional provisions contained in Schedule 12 paragraph 7, the rights of a squatter will not under the Act take priority on first registration or on a registered disposition without the need for registration, as they presently do. By virtue of section 11(4)(c), C will take free of A’s rights unless, at the time of registration, he had notice of them. If C is registered as proprietor even though he has notice of A’s rights, A will be able to seek alteration of the register. C is bound by her rights and so alteration of the register will not involve rectification. As the register is inaccurate it may be altered to give effect to her rights by registering her as proprietor in place of C, as provided in Schedule 4, paragraphs 2 and 5.

42.Subsection (5) deals with the situation where the first registered proprietor is not entitled to the estate solely for his or her own benefit. The effect of subsection (5) is that where the first registered proprietor holds the land on trust, the estate will be vested in him or her subject to the rights of the beneficiaries under that trust.

43.Subsections (6) and (7) prescribe the effects of registration with qualified or with possessory title.

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