All landowners who hold the right to mines and minerals and manorial rights, which include sporting rights, are urged to register these valuable interests before 13th October 2013. Under new rules now in force, from 13th October 2013, these and other less common rights will cease to have automatic protection and may potentially be lost if they are not registered in time. A new owner who buys land or property after the deadline will buy it free of these rights if they have not been protected prior to the sale. The Land Registry are not currently charging a fee for making an application to register these interests, although fees will be incurred if an application is made after the deadline.
This is also the deadline for anyone who has the benefit of chancel repair, such as Parish Church Councils (“PCCs”), to register those rights against land. A chancel repair liability is the requirement for an owner of land to pay for the any repairs to the chancel of an Anglican Parish and the Land Registry estimate that some 5,300 parishes in England and Wales could be affected by chancel repair liability. As trustees, members of PCCs are under a duty to protect the church’s assets, which include these rights. Failure to look in to the position of chancel repairs may render PCC members liable as English Heritage have said that they will refuse to pay for repairs, which could have been funded via these ancient chancel means. Please also bear in mind that PCCs are completely separate from Parish Councils. Parish Councils may in fact own land, which may be subject to chancel repair liability benefitting PCCs.
All of these rights (traditionally known as overriding interests) have not generally appeared on the registered title to a property unless they were specifically referred to in more recent land deeds as the Land Registry are not required to go back hundreds of years for evidence. The idea behind these changes is to bring greater transparency to land ownership so that owners of land and property will have as much information as possible as to what, if any, matters affect their property.