An overhaul of the Land Registration Act 2002 is coming

This post was contributed by Lucinda Pattison, Teaching Fellow for Undergraduate Laws.

The last big shake up in relation to land registration law was in October 2003 with the introduction of the Land Registration Act 2002. The Act repealed the Land Registration Act 1925 and modernised the system of land registration in England and Wales. 

England and Wales has two systems in relation to land ownership: registered title and unregistered title. At 85%, most land in England and Wales has titles registered at Her Majesty’s Land Registry, with the remainder to be registered over the coming years on a trigger event under the 2002 Act, such as the transfer of land to a new owner, or an owner mortgaging their property. We will therefore still be dealing with unregistered titles in land for a number of years to come.

The 2002 Act governs registration of land in England and Wales and provides the framework for e-conveyancing, which to date has not advanced as anticipated. The Law Commission has now proposed changes to the Act to modernise it further and in particular to try and tackle property fraud. Law Commissioner Professor Nick Hopkins said in July 2018 that “For many, the land they own is the most valuable thing they will ever have, so it’s important that the registration system provides clarity over who owns what.” 

The system of land registration runs through every topic in Property Law and it is important that anyone studying Property Law has a thorough understanding of both registered titles and unregistered titles of land.

If you are a student studying Property Law on the University of London Undergraduate Laws Programmes and want to learn more about the two systems of land ownership in England and Wales, we are running a London Study Support Event for Property Law in November 2019. 

The event will provide you with a an introduction to Property Law, looking at the estates and interests in land, in law and equity and how to protect them in registered and unregistered titles. This will provide you with a good grounding in the key elements of Property Law that will then run throughout every topic you study in Property Law. You will then look at elements of co-ownership and leases. 

The sessions will be informative and interactive, providing you with an opportunity to engage with fellow students and ask me lots of questions on Property Law.

I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster where I teach Property Law and Practice and Commercial Property and a Teaching Fellow at the University of London for Property Law. I have been a lecturer for 11 years, having left private practice where I was an Assistant Solicitor and Head of a Residential Conveyancing Department. I have retained my Practising Certificate and assist in the University of Westminster’s Law Clinic, supervising students and advising clients in relation to Property Law disputes. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I look forward to meeting many of you in November at the London Study Support Event for Property Law. Full details on the VLE.

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