Manorial rights generally exist in former manorial estates (known as copyhold land), where the Lord of a Manor retained rights (such as sporting rights and the right to mines and minerals) when land was transferred out of the estate and registered as freehold property. Whilst it has not been possible to create manorial rights since 1925, they are still a fairly common issue.

At present, manorial rights override first registration. This means that, even if there is no mention of manorial rights on a property’s registered title, a property may nevertheless be subject to manorial rights which are not apparent on inspection of either the registered title or the property itself.

But this is to change and with effect from 13 October 2013, manorial rights will lose their status as overriding interests so if they are not registered before midnight on 13 October 2013, any such manorial rights will be permanently lost. It is possible to register manorial rights before 13 October 2013 but the method of protection depends on whether the land which is subject to the manorial rights is registered or unregistered. Manorial rights may be protected through either an application for a Unilateral Notice against registered land, or a Caution against First Registration against unregistered land.

For buyers, this is good news. For owners of land with the benefit of manorial rights, now is the time to protect those rights or undertake research to establish whether there are any rights to protect.