Clause 6 - Duty to apply for registration of title

Part of Land Registration Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 11 December 2001.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Shadow Attorney General 11:30, 11 December 2001

The Bill imposes a duty to register title to a registrable estate, but that duty seems somewhat toothless, because on the face of it, there appears to be no direct sanction. The Minister is studying his notes carefully as I speak, and I imagine that he has an answer to my point. I regard this as a probing amendment, but I hope that he will come up with such a sanction, because it is an extraordinary state of affairs if that duty is toothless.

The position is the same as at present. If a title that should be registered on the first registration is not registered, the transaction comes to nothing and the buyer who fails to register does not get the title to the property that he would expect to have. The amendments suggest rewording that is consistent with a reasonable approach of encouraging people to undertake the duty, rather than waving a non-existent sword. In practice, if a buyer applies for first registration out of time, the registrar makes an order permitting registration as a matter of course. I am informed that the Law Society, with all its experienced conveyancers on its specialist committee, cannot recall any case in which that has ever caused a difficulty.