What are Manorial Rights

The main manorial rights include sporting rights (hunting, shooting, fishing), rights to mines and minerals, and the right to hold fairs and markets. They may also include the obligation to construct maintain and repair dykes, ditches, canals and other works, but there is no precise definition of “manorial rights”.

Why is the clock ticking?

Like with Chancel Repair Liability, the introduction of the Land Registration Act in 2002 has resulted in the necessity of the owner of manorial and sporting rights to register those rights at the Land Registry before 12 October 2012. Any purchaser of land after that date, where those rights have not been registered, will buy the Property free from those rights and therefore would in effect acquire the sporting rights and mineral rights themselves.

How can those rights be protected?

The rights won’t disappear at midnight on 12 October, but if they are not registered before then, the purchaser of effected land will take free of them. Estate owners and Lords of the Manor will need to protect their rights by registering them at the Land Registry beforehand. If the land that is subject to the rights (ie you can go on it and shoot, hunt, fish, dig for minerals, hold fairs etc) is unregistered, then you can protect your interest by registering a caution against registration.

I’m not a Lord. Does it effect me?

This is particularly an issue for trustees of estates and manorial land in England. If you do not protect the trust’s manorial and sporting rights, you may lose some valuable benefits. If you ignore the issue and those rights are lost, you may expose the trustees to claims from disgruntled beneficiaries that the trustees have breached their duties.