The long awaited end to the transitional period under the Land Registration Act 2002 (“the Act”) will arrive on 12 October 2013, marking the end the status of a number of rights over land as overriding interests. The Act was intended to help make the registered title more comprehensive and to minimise the number of overriding interests which by their nature are only relevant to land which has been registered at the Land Registry.

An overriding interest in land is binding on the registered owner of the land despite the interest not being recorded on the registered title. Some of the common overriding interests will remain after 12 October 2013, such as the rights of people in actual occupation of the land and some easements, but some of the more obscure rights will no longer be classed as overriding interests.

The most eagerly anticipated of these, for landowners in any event, is chancel repair liability which requires payments towards the repair of the chancel of a parish church, assuming the land was former ‘glebe’ land. Along with franchise rights, manorial rights, crown rents, non-statutory rights in respect of an embankment or river or sea wall and rights to payment in lieu of a tithe, chancel repair liability will no longer apply to new purchasers of previously affected land as of 13 October 2013.

Practical Changes

Owners of land which is subject to one of the overriding interests will continue to be subject to the interest on or after 13 October 2013 as the interest was overriding when the land was purchased.

Subsequent purchases of that land on or after 13 October 2013 will be taken free from the overriding interest, unless it has been specifically protected at the land registry before the sale takes place.

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