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Land Registration Act 2002


Section 71: Duty to disclose unregistered interests

118.The 1925 Act made no distinction between those interests which are overriding on first registration and those that were overriding on a disposition of registered land. The Act makes this distinction so that the existing concept of overriding interests is not brought forward into the Act. Schedule 1 lists the interests which are overriding on first registration and are therefore binding on the proprietor even though there is no entry in the register (see sections 11(4) and 12(4)). Schedule 3 lists the interests which are binding on persons who acquire an interest in registered land notwithstanding that there is no entry in the register (see section 29(2)). Section 71 provides that a person applying for first registration of title or to register a dealing with registered land must disclose such details of known interests falling within the appropriate Schedule as are specified in rules.

119.This is a new duty. The objective is to ensure that the applicant for registration discloses any interests which are overriding in nature so that they can be entered in the register. The registrar will only wish to enter in the register such rights as are clear and undisputed. Rules will therefore provide guidance as to when the buyer has to provide information, and in relation to which interests it is required.

Section 72: Priority protection

120.Official searches undertaken in accordance with rules made under section 70 are normally priority searches undertaken by persons acquiring an interest for value. The system of priority searching means that any entry made on a register during the priority period of a search will be postponed to a subsequent application to register the instrument effecting the purchase. Section 72(2) makes new express provision for the protection of priorities, and confirms that an application is protected if there is a priority period in existence under a search and the application is made before the priority period has come to an end. To ensure the mechanics of the system operate correctly, subsection (3) states that the general principle will not apply if the entry is itself made as a result of a earlier protected application and relates to a protected application whose priority search was undertaken earlier in time. Additionally, a court order made under section 46(3) specifying the priority of an entry relating to that court order may take precedence over the effect of this section. The registrar is entitled to defer dealing with an application if it appears to him that a protected application might be made, as this would affect the priority of the applications he is to process. Rules may be made concerning the detailed operation of the priority searching system, including the order of competing priority periods. Rules may either provide for priority periods in connection with official searches or with the noting in the register of a contract for a registered disposition of a registered estate or charge. The noting of a contract is not often undertaken at present but will become necessary once contracts to make a disposition of a registered estate or charge take effect only on registration. This section enables the registrar at that stage to use either the existing official searching system or to base the priority period on the registration of the contract itself.

Section 73: Objections

121.Section 73 provides that, subject to two qualifications, anyone may object to an application made to the registrar. The two exceptions are (1) when the application is to cancel a caution against first registration only the cautioner or such other persons as rules may provide may object (section 18 deals with how such an application is made) and (2) when the application is to cancel a unilateral notice only the beneficiary of the notice or such other persons as rules may provide may object (section 36 deals with how such an application is made). Unless the registrar is satisfied that the objection is groundless, he must give notice of the objection to the applicant and may not complete the application whilst that objection still exists. The right to object is subject to rules. If it is not possible to dispose of the objection by agreement the registrar must refer the matter to the adjudicator for determination in accordance with Part 11 and Schedule 9. Rules will govern the making of references to the adjudicator under this section.

Section 74: Effective date of registration

122.Section 74 provides that any entry made in the register has effect from the time of the making of the application for first registration, and for the registration of registrable dispositions. Rules made under section 14 will make provision for the making of applications for first registration and how dealings with registered land are undertaken are subject to rules made under section 27.

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Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


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