The 2012 Act introduces a number of important changes to land and property registration that will have a considerable impact on professionals involved in the buying and selling of land and property. We've outlined the key changes below as they affect conveyancing solicitors and mortgage lenders.
How the changes affect you
Changes for solicitors
- End of the Keeper's 'midas touch' – registration on its own will not be the complete story – the validity of a registered title will be governed by property law rules.
- All manifest inaccuracies must be rectified.
- Prescription will run on all land register titles and where prescription is running on a title the Keeper cannot rectify without consent or court order.
- One shot rule: applications cannot be amended after they have been submitted, the current RoS requisition policy will be reviewed.
- New rules for the acceptance of a non domino titles ('prescriptive claimants' in 2012 Act terminology).
- Re-alignment of rights – protection for third parties acting in good faith relying on the register.
- Registration of decrees of reduction.
- Indemnity replaced with warranty.
- Warranty given to applicants (not third parties relying on the register).
- 'Duty of care' to Keeper introduced.
- 'Statutory offence' created.
Changes for mortgage lenders
No Land or Charge Certificates
These will no longer be issued by the Keeper. On an application being registered applicants will be notified by the Keeper of the registration of the deed. Section 104 of the 2012 Act provides that a person can apply for an extract of a part or whole of a title sheet.Advance Notices
These have been introduced to cover the gap risk period in a conveyancing transaction which is the period between the delivery and registration of a deed. In this period a deed is seen to be at risk from either a competing deed entering the register first or the insolvency of the granter. Advance notices will provide a 35-day protected period against competing deeds and entries in the Register of Inhibitions. Advance notices have been introduced to provide an alternative to the guarantee that currently forms part of a letter of obligation.One Shot Rule
Section 34 of the 2012 Act provides that an application for registration cannot be amended while it is pending without the consent of the Keeper. Amendment of an application will only be possible in very limited circumstances. Further, it will not be possible to amend a deed after it has been submitted for registration. If a deed requires amendment, the application must be withdrawn or rejected and submitted as a new application once amended.Indemnity replaced with Warranty
After the designated day when an application for the registration of a deed is accepted, the Keeper will warrant to the applicant that on the date of registration the register is accurate insofar as it shows an acquisition, variation or discharge in their favour. The Keeper's warranty will not cover third parties relying on the register.An end to the Keeper's 'midas touch'
The 1979 Act could have the effect of making bad titles good. The 2012 Act realigns registration law with property law. The result being that registration on its own will not be enough to make a person the owner of a property to which they do not have legal title.