The Land Registration Act 2002 has been exemplary in setting the rules for Land registration up to date. The newly amended act has done away with the inherent discrepancies of the act and ambiguities related to land registration. The salient highlights of the Land Registration Act 2002 harp on the simplification of procedures and have overhauled the entire system. This is one major change that has been effected in the last 75 years of history of the nation. The other major change is the inclusion of electronic conveyance. Other laws such as the law of adverse possession have undergone updates.
1 Now after having gone through the entire Act, I firmly believe that the Act has undergone a much needed revamping and thus now it stands a much more standardized and more than anything else a modernized one. In this regard, what is of particular importance is the first registration of registrable estates. The new set of regulations for the first registration of registrable includes transfer of a freehold estate of land, transfer of an existing leasehold estate of land, grant of a new leasehold estate of land and first legal mortgage.
But this rule does not apply to the mines and minerals under the surface and incorporeal hereditamentsThe abovementioned ways of transfer of freehold estates hold true and are to be strictly abided by. Now so far as my interpretation of this part of the act is concerned, the implications of transfer through these ways signify that either one has to purchase it or be gifted by someone or receive the land vide some partition of an existing estate or someone should consent to its being transferred to the transferee.
Almost the same applies for the leaseholds as well. In this case though, the only difference being the appointment of a trustee. Also in case of leaseholds, one has to register in case he/she ceases to be a tenant and the time for which one wants to register does not matter. Moreover, one anyways ceases to be a tenant once one has registered. As far as transfer of registration of new leasehold of land is concerned, it is mandatory mentioned to be over a span of seven years.
Also, the registration has to be done within 3 months of taking possession of the land. In the case of first mortgages, to the best of my understanding the rule includes any mortgage that is taken for more than 7 years. Once registered, it becomes a protected first legal mortgage and the benefit one derives from this is that these mortgages get priority over all other types of mortgages. The concepts of voluntary registration and anticipatory registration have been introduced for the benefit of the common people.
Here the idea is that in case one is not sure about the title, one can register anticipatorily thereby claiming the title of the land and this in addition to a land title indemnity insurance policy will be sufficient for the claim of the land. So I believe people who fear loss of important documents or any ambiguity regarding the title of the land can take stock of the situation through the application of this policy. (ii) A registrable disposition refers to the transfer or creation of important interests of estates that are already registered. It is only applicable once it is registered.
This is a mandatory part in any sale of estate and one must undergo this process in order to complete the transaction process. For example, if Tom sells an estate of land to Jerry, the sale thereby made is subject to registrable disposition and will not be complete unless it is registered and it is only then that Jerry will get the legal title to the estate. In this context, I feel the role of interest becomes very important. A registrable disposition, as said before, is binding on the part of the parties involved in the purchase of the estate.
The interest has to be registered and there are only some cases under which the interest is not part of registrable disposition. In this case, it fails to be a part of the notice. In other cases, as in the case of overriding interests, the entire responsibility is of the purchaser of the land. This, according to me, means that in those situations where there is lack of equitable distribution of interest as regards the registrable disposition, it is generally the purchaser of the land who takes the charge and the responsibility to register the same.
b) Explain how and why other (minor) interests should be protected by registration under the Land Registration Act 2002. The Land Registration Act 2002 does not explicitly mention the term minor interest. 4 But the laws and mandates specified in the Act refer to other interests and one can very well assess the minor interest through the mention of these other interests. Minor or other interests include those interests that are unable to be created or transferred through registered disposition or not part of overriding interests and those which can be overridden by registered proprietors, if not registered.
Majorly, the most pertinent examples of such other interests are the beneficiaries vide settlements and all charges subject to Land Charges Department in case it was an unregistered land. The protection of these cases was done directly by the erstwhile Act which was replaced by the Land Registration Act 2002. In the present act, the only provisions allowed are restrictions and notices. 5 So it is necessary to understand the implication of these two terms in order to better understand the interest and implication of the minor interests.
A notice is of two types and is applicable for some interests that are not part of registrable dispositions. These two types are agreed and unilateral. An agreed notice is one that has been agreed upon by the parties involved and have to be entered along with the registered proprietor vide an agreement. This mandate of taking into account the role of the registered proprietor can be done away with through the enforcement of a unilateral notice. In this case, the consent of the registered proprietor is not required. But as per the latest Act, the proprietor is notified about the unilateral notice before the actual dealing takes place.
6 So the proprietor also has the opportunity to object in case he does not give his consent. Restriction, as the name suggests, refers to the guidelines or the ambit abiding which the registered proprietor has to deal with his estate. This restriction can be both in the form of putting some constraints or prohibiting absolutely the act of something on a given estate. For example, in many cases it so happens that during transfer of title, the money is compulsorily to be paid to both the trustees in case the land is under a trust and there is more than one trustee.
This is a precondition and the Registrar takes this regulation automatically into account. The reason behind such an inclusion is that to ascertain equal claim to the land and avoid unlawful activities and fraudulent actions on the part of the parties to the agreement. As mentioned earlier, the specific beneficiaries to these other interest groups of the Land Registration Act 2002 is the trustees who form a separate category and require separate attention. Minor interests are interests that are not overriding and are not registrable.
These include the protection of interests of third parties. This has been a major amendment in the latest Act of 2002. But by putting an end to practices like caution and inhibition,7 the new amendment has actually reduced the scope of minor interests to object and fight for equitable rights. At the same time, as mentioned earlier, the procedure of notifying when unilateral notices are served has increased the scope to object when not in consensus with the other parties involved.
So all together, it is clear that the rule has been got rid of the ambiguities and redundancies involved as regards the other interest groups involved in a land registration process. The beneficiaries and trustees, at the one hand, get their due, both in terms of rights and privileges and also in terms of objecting, but on the other hand, the proprietors also get their due when it comes to objecting a unilateral notice which is rather more equitable a law to be enforced in any country.