Schedule 3 - Unregistered interests which override registered dispositions

Part of Land Registration Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 13 December 2001.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Shadow Attorney General 2:45, 13 December 2001

The amendment deals with a number of matters relating to unregistered interests that override registered dispositions, specifically with reference to paragraphs 2 and 3. In relation to persons in actual occupation, there is an exception in respect of a number of interests and a question concerning the wording. That is clear from amendment No. 36, which would omit the word ''obvious'' and substitute for it the words ''disclosed by''. It may seem to be no more than a drafting matter, but there is a distinction between what is ''obvious'' on a reasonably careful inspection of land and what is ''disclosed by'' a reasonably careful inspection of land at the time of disposition. The amendment relates not only to paragraph 2(c)(i), but to paragraph 3(1)(b), which refers to easements and profits a prendre and in which the same point arises. I should be interested to know the Minister's response because it is obvious to me that ''obvious'' is not the right word to use.

Amendment No. 39 covers a more important point and refers to easements and profits a prendre. Paragraph 3(1) relates to leasehold interests in land, but does not apply under paragraph 3(2)

''if the person entitled to the easement or profit proves that it has been exercised in the period of one year ending with the day of the disposition.''

An easement or profit could include rights of way and all sorts of other rights such as shooting rights. A whole raft of matters could conceivably fall into this category, which is very large and of enormous practical importance to landowners. People may buy estates and find that they are subject to rights of way, rights of light, rights of passage and other rights that I mentioned earlier arising under private Acts, such as rights of piscary and so on, on which I received a very helpful letter from the Land Registry. We are suggesting that

''For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(b), an easement or profit shall be taken to be such as would be disclosed by a reasonably careful inspection if such an inspection would reveal that acts had been done on the land, or advantages had been enjoyed over it, which were in fact done or enjoyed in the exercise

of the easement or profit, whether or not such an inspection would also show whether those acts were done or those advantages were enjoyed as of right and not merely by permission of the owner or occupiers of the land.''.

I could spend a long time on this, Mr. Illsley, but you can be assured that I have not the slightest intention of doing so. The law on the subject is extensive and interesting, and includes matters relating to shooting rights, riparian rights, who owns what up to certain points in a river, and whether it is for navigation or a cut. There are many books on the subject and it would be invidious to go through the whole matter. However, the amendment should be given proper consideration and I have no doubt that the Minister will do so. I look forward to hearing what he has to say.