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 Michael Wills Michael Wills Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, Parliamentary Secretary (Lord Chancellor's Department) 11:30, 11 December 2001

As the hon. Gentleman has said, these are essentially drafting amendments and are apparently intended to make clause 6 more accurately reflect the nature of the obligation to apply for first registration. As a matter of drafting, I am unsure whether having until a specified time to do something is different from having to do something before such-and-such a time, which means that the amendment would not achieve its aim.

More importantly, accepting the amendment, which would change the wording established in the Land Registration Act 1997, would send the wrong signals about the Government's commitment to registration and could cause confusion. There should be no doubt about the fact that the Government want more land on the register. Since 1925, the effect of failure to register appears to have been sufficient encouragement to bring about registration. We want more land on the register, and the Bill is designed to bring that about. I see no need for the amendment and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will feel able to withdraw it.