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Land Registration Act 2002

Section 27: Dispositions required to be registered

61.This section sets out those dispositions of registered land that must be completed by registration if they are to operate at law. There are similar, but not identical provisions in the current legislation (in particular, sections 18 and 21 of the 1925 Act). Registrable dispositions, when registered, confer a legal estate, and are therefore given special priority provided for in sections 28 to 30. In principle, all dispositions that create or transfer a legal estate by express grant should be subject to some form of registration, whether with their own titles or by the entry of some form of notice on the title which is subject to them. The section therefore provides that any transfer of, or the grant or reservation of any legal estate out of, registered land, is a registrable disposition. This includes dispositions by operation of law, but with some limited exceptions.

62.Subsection (2)(a) provides that transfers of a registered estate, i.e. a legal estate which has registered title and is not a registered charge, must be entered on a register. There are three exceptions. The first is where is a sole individual proprietor dies, where title to the estate vests by operation of law in the executors, if there are any, or in the Public Trustee until such time as there is a grant of administration. Personal representatives can apply to alter the register to bring it up to date by registering the applicant as proprietor. Secondly, when a sole individual proprietor becomes bankrupt, his or her estate will vest without any conveyance or transfer in the trustee for bankruptcy immediately on appointment (or in the Official Receiver in default of any such appointment), who can then apply to be registered. Thirdly, when a company is dissolved, its property is deemed to be bona vacantia and therefore vests in the Crown (or Royal Duchies). These exceptions are inevitable, and apply also to the transfer of registered charges (subsection (3)).

63.An explanation of the categories of lease which are registrable under subsection (2)(b) is to be found in paragraphs 30 to 32. An explanation of the two categories of lease granted out of the registered estate that are not registrable (a lease of less than seven years or less, or a London Transport Public/Private Partnership Lease) is to found in paragraphs 26 and 145.

64.Lease out of franchises and manors are made registrable under subsection (2)(c). They are both incorporeal rights of such a nature that the existence of a lease of them may not be apparent unless the lease affected is registered. The registration requirements vary. Where the term of the lease is for more than seven years, the grantee or successor in title must be entered in the register as the proprietor of the lease, and a notice in respect of the lease must also be entered (Schedule 2, paragraph 4). If the term is seven years or less a notice in respect of the lease must be entered in the register. (Schedule 2, paragraph 5).

65.Subsection (2)(d) relates to easements and profits à prendre, whether in gross or appurtenant to an estate. There are two exceptions. The Commons Registration Act 1965 prohibits the registration under the 1925 Act of rights of common that are registrable under the 1965 Act. This prohibition will continue under the Act. Secondly, an easement, right or privilege granted under the operation of section 62 of the 1925 Act (a so called ‘word-saving provision’ that is taken to import certain words into a conveyance unless its effect is excluded) is not regarded as an express grant for these purposes, so as to require registration. Under subsection (2)(e), both:


a rentcharge in possession issuing out of or charged on land being either perpetual or for a term of years absolute;


a right of entry exercisable over or in respect of a legal term of years absolute, or annexed, for any purpose to a legal rentcharge;

are made registrable dispositions (these being the interests provided for in section 1(2)(b) and (e) of the Law of Property Act 1925).

66.Most grants of a legal charge are registrable dispositions. Subsection (5)(c) exempts local land charges. A local land charge operates at law without the need for registration. Nor does the priority of a local land charge need to be protected by registration. But a local land charge which secures the payment of money cannot be realised unless it is a registered charge. Section 55 provides that a charge over registered land which is a local land charge may only be realised if the title to the charge is registered.

It should be noted that one of the effects of the introduction of electronic conveyancing as provided for in Part 8 will be that dispositions will be simultaneously executed, communicated electronically to the registrar, and registered and section 93 contains powers for that to be made compulsory.  The general principle set out in subsection (1) of this section is likely, in time, to be superseded.

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