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LPC Law Notes Property Law and Practice Notes

Freehold Unregistered Land Notes

Updated Freehold Unregistered Land Notes

Property Law and Practice Notes

Property Law and Practice

Approximately 490 pages

A collection of the best LPC PLP notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through dozens of LPC samples from outstanding students with the highest results in England and carefully evaluating each on accuracy, formatting, logical structure, spelling/grammar, conciseness and "wow-factor".

In short these are what we believe to be the strongest set of PLP notes available in the UK this year. This collection of notes is fully updated for recent exams, a...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Property Law and Practice Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Freehold Un-Registered Land

Pre-exchange searches and enquiries

(Buyer’s solicitor)

  1. Index Map search

  • Form S.I.M + large scale plan + Fee

  • Send to Land Registry

  • No priority period however

  • Results reveal whether land is already registered, or is subject to a pending application or caution against first registration.

  1. K15Land Charges Search to Land Charges Department in Plymouth. Search against all relevant estate owners for relevant period of ownership.

  • The person owning the land with the BENEFIT of the incumbrance should have registered the land charge against the name of the person owning the land with the BURDEN in the incimbrance.

  • Provides Priority period of 15 working days within which to complete the transaction.

  • Land Charges Registry set up in 1926 – so don’t search further back than this date.

  • Even if there is a death – search beyond date of death

  1. CPSEs (Commercial Property Standard Enquiries)

  2. All other searches (same as registered land):

  • LLC1

  • Con29R

  • Drainage & water

  • Environmental

  • Pre-contract enquiries to seller

Investigation of title

Good Root of Title

  • Contract should specify what document is to form the root of title.

S.44 LPA 1925 – root of title must:

  • Be at least 15 years old

  • Deal with and / or show who owns the whole legal & equitable interest being sold to current owner.

  • Contain recognizable description of the land

  • Do nothing to case doubt on the seller’s title.


  • Conveyance on sale

  • Legal Mortgage

  • Deed of gift

  • Assent of land to beneficiary under the will.

Root of title cannot be:

  1. Grant of probate (this transfers INTEREST in land – but won’t identify the deceased’s estate.

Top Tip: Therefore what is the most convenient root of title to choose? Select the latest root that is at least 15 years old – easier to get an unbroken chain of ownership. [the most recent document which satisfies all 4 requirements of a good root of title.

  • Buyers are bound by matters revealed by a title beginning with the good ROOT, but NOT by matters that would have been revealed by an earlier root.

  • If buyer accepts a “short root” – buyer risks being bound by earlier conveyances. This is risky / dangerous as he wont know what he is bound by.

Epitome of title: [part of “deducing title” process in conveyance transaction]

  • Provided by seller’s solicitor. Lists documents (from root of title onwards to present day) which affects ownership of the land.

  • List is set out in chronological order.

  • Copies of conveyances are attached (not originals)

  • ‘Good Root’ checklist (is there unbroken chain of ownership from root to current owner)

Documents relevant for Epitome Documents which need NOT be included
  • Conveyances on sale and by gift

  • Deaths

  • Grants of representation to deceased’s owners’ estates

  • Changes of name of estate owners

  • Leases

  • Mortgages

  • Discharge of legal mortgages

  • documents of record – e.g death & marriage certificates

  • expired leases

  • documents which pre-date root of title

Things to consider:


a) Root of title [see above]

b) Link in the chain

  • Unbroken chain of ownership [beginning with seller in root document and ending with present seller. There must be no apparent break in the chain. If chain is broken the title will be defective.

  • Are there any defects in the title = this will adversely affect the interests of buyer / lender. [e.g. on equitable]

  • Links in the chain – require documentary evidence of:

  1. Every change of ownership

  2. Change of names of owners [marriage certificate]


Stamp duty:

  • Confirms correct stamp duty has been paid

  • Documents PRIOR to 1st December 2003 = have they been stamped correctly?

Unstamped or incorrectly stamped documents are neither good title nor good links in the chain. They cannot be produced in evidence in civil proceedings, neither will they be accepted at Land Registry on an application to register the title.

If there is a problem – buyer can insist that seller rectifies the deficiency at seller’s own expense. Any contractual provision saying otherwise is void [S.117 Stamp Act 1891]

  • Ad valorem duty [stamp duty prior to 1/12/03 – rate of duty changed with value of property – some lower valued properties were exempt or subject to a lower rate. This could only be claimed if “prescribed form of certificate” was included in the conveyance [so make sure purchase price is below figure stated in certificate of value].

If conveyance does not have a certificate of value in it and does not bear the ad valorem stamp – then the conveyance has not been correctly stamped.

If there is no certificate = the highest rate of duty was payable.

ALWAYS CHECK: minimum threshold for that year – maybe no tax was due?

  • PD (Particulars delivered) stamp placed on the deed. Sent to the Inland Revenue. [Only some conveyances – not all].

3 Parties – are any discrepancies explained?

Description of property

  • Does it relate to the land being sold

  • Is description in conveyance adequate?

  • Is the PLAN drawn to scale? Are there any discrepancies?


Execution of documentsformalities

  • S.1 LP(MP)A 1989

  • Deeds prior to 31st July 1990 = signed, sealed delivered!

  • Deeds executed by a limited company prior to 31st July 1990

  • Execution by a Attorney – must have certified copy of document giving power to that attorney


Endorsements and acknowledgements

  • Sale of part?

  • Severance?

  • Mortgage receipt?



  • All necessary rights recorded?



  • Seller should disclose in the contract.

  • Are all details correlating?

  • Any restrictive covenants – solicitor should check if it has been registered as a Class D(ii) Land Charge. It will not be binding on the purchaser if not registered.

  • Does the covenant / easement affect the client? [Apply normal registered principles]


Land charges search [K15]

  • Search of all previous owners, including the current owner (the seller)

  • Incumbrances will only bind unregistered land if they’re correctly registered in Plymouth.

  • The person owning the land...

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