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Practice Guide 25 – Leases – when to register

Updated: February 2014

Update

This edition of the guide replaces the January 2014 edition. Section 7.4 has been amended to include sub-headings, to remove an errant NB and to cross-refer to Practice Guide 68 – Amending deeds that effect dispositions of registered land.

Scope of this guide

This guide deals with the compulsory and voluntary registration aspects of leasehold estates in land, including those that cannot be registered.

It also deals with how to apply to register and note leases (including when we will automatically note a lease against a registered reversionary title) and with deeds of variation.

It does not deal with leases revealed as disclosable interests; see Practice Guide 15 – Overriding interests and their disclosure.

The guide is aimed at conveyancers and you should interpret references to ‘you’ accordingly.

1 Abbreviations and terms used

In this guide:

‘HA 1985’ means the Housing Act 1985

‘LRA 2002’ means the Land Registration Act 2002

‘LRR 2003’ means the Land Registration Rules 2003 (as amended)

‘LRAAO 2008’ means the Land Registration Act 2002 (Amendment) Order 2008

‘prescribed clauses lease’­ means any lease granted on or after 19 June 2006, that is required by r.58A, LRR 2003 to contain the prescribed clauses set out in Schedule 1A, LRR 2003

‘relevant social housing tenancy’ means a flexible tenancy within the meaning of s.107A, Housing Act 1985 or an assured tenancy of a dwelling in England granted by a private registered provider of social housing other than a long tenancy or a shared ownership lease (see s.132(1), LRA 2002 as amended by s.157(6), Localism Act 2011).

2 Introduction

The LRA 2002, together with the LRR 2003, changes the categories of leases that are now either compulsorily or voluntarily registrable, and also the leases that we can note.

Not every leasehold estate is capable of being registered with its own title, but the LRA 2002 substantially extends the scope of title registration, e.g. many more business leases will be subject to compulsory registration.

The information within this guide applies to:

  • leases dated on or after 13 October 2003

  • leases existing before 13 October 2003

  • assignments, transfers (on sale, by way of gift or by order of court) or assents, including vesting assents, dated on or after 13 October 2003, of existing leasehold estates having more than seven years of the term left to run

  • first legal mortgages dated on or after 13 October 2003

  • assignments and transfers dated on or after 6 April 2009 of existing unregistered leasehold estates having more than seven years of the term left to run:

    • giving effect to a partition of land subject to a trust of land

    • by a deed that appoints, or by virtue of s.83, Charities Act 1993 has effect as if it appointed, a new trustee or is made in consequence of the appointment of a new trustee, or

    • by a vesting order under s.44, Trustee Act 1925 that is consequential on the appointment of a new trustee.

See also Practice Guide 62 – Easements for details of the registration requirements in respect of easements granted in leases.

3 How to apply the LRA 2002 and LRR 2003 – compulsory registration

S.4, LRA 2002 specifically sets out the circumstances when an application for first registration must be madeP>

The estate owner, or their successor in title, must apply for first registration – see s.6(1), LRA 2002.

The period for registration is two months from the date of the deed inducing registration – see s.6(4), LRA 2002. However, an order can be made to extend the period of registration – see s.6(5), LRA 2002.

S.27(2)(b), LRA 2002 specifically sets out the circumstances when leases out of a registered title must be registered.

S.4(5A), LRA 2002 exempts relevant social housing tenancies from compulsory registration, regardless of term.

3.1 New leases granted for a term of more than seven years out of unregistered land

See s.4(1)(c), LRA 2002.

Leases granted for a term of more than seven years from the date of the grant, out of either an unregistered freehold or leasehold estates, will be compulsorily registrable provided they are either:

  • for valuable or other consideration – that under s.4(6), LRA 2002 includes estates that have a negative value, or

  • by way of a gift – s.4(7), LRA 2002 provides for:

    • grants for the purpose of setting up a trust, where the person setting up the trust, ‘the settlor’, does not retain the whole of the beneficial interest, or

    • transfers of the legal title to the beneficial owners, where the settlor did not retain the whole of the beneficial interest when the trust was set up

  • pursuant to an order of any court.

3.2 New leases for a term of more than seven years out of a registered title

See s.27(2)(b)(i), LRA 2002.

Leases granted out of existing registered titles, that are for a term of more than seven years from the date of the grant are compulsorily registrable.

3.3 Transfers or assignments of unregistered leases having more than seven years of the term unexpired

See ss.4(1)(a), 4(1)(aa) (as introduced by the LRAAO 2008) and 4(2)(b), LRA 2002.

Transfers or assignments of unregistered leases, that at the time of the transfers (or assignments) have more than seven years to run, are compulsorily registrable if they are made either:

  • for valuable or other consideration – that under s.4(6), LRA 2002 includes estates that have a negative value

  • by way of gift – s.4(7), LRA 2002 provides for:

    • transfers for the purpose of setting up a trust, where the person setting up the trust, ‘the settlor’, does not retain the whole of the beneficial interest, or

    • transfers of the legal title to the beneficial owners, where the settlor did not retain the whole of the beneficial interest when the trust was set up

  • pursuant to an order of any court

  • by means of an assent – including a vesting assent, or

  • if dated on or after 6 April 2009:

    • to give effect to a partition of land subject to a trust of land

    • by a deed that appoints, or by virtue of s.83, Charities Act 1993 has effect as if it appointed, a new trustee or that is made in consequence of the appointment of a new trustee, or

    • by a vesting order under s.44, Trustee Act 1925 that is consequential on the appointment of a new trustee.

NB: Not all transfers or assignments attract compulsory registration.

The following are specific types of transfer or assignment that are not subject to compulsory registration.

  • Transfer by operation of law, eg when a deceased’s property vests in their executors – see s.4(3), LRA 2002. However, a transfer by operation of law that is within s.4(1)(aa), LRA 2002, eg when property vests in a new trustee by an express vesting declaration, or one that is implied, under s.40, Trustee Act 1925 in a deed appointing a new trustee, is subject to compulsory registration.

  • An assignment of a mortgage term, ie mortgage by demise – see s.4(4)(a), LRA 2002.

  • An assignment or surrender of a lease to the owner of the immediate reversion where the term is to merge into that reversion – see s.4(4)(b), LRA 2002.

3.4 Transfers or assignments of unregistered leases where s.171A, HA 1985 applies

See s.4(1)(b), LRA 2002.

All transfers of unregistered leases, irrespective of the length of the term of the lease, made pursuant to s.171A, HA 1985 (Preserved Right to Buy) are compulsorily registrable.

3.5 Transfers of any registered leases

See s.27(2)(a), LRA 2002.

Most transfers of registered leases, irrespective of the length of the term of the lease, are compulsorily registrable. However, the following transfers by operation of law are not required to be registered.

  • A transfer on the death or bankruptcy of an individual proprietor.
  • A transfer on the dissolution of a corporate proprietor.

3.6 Right to buy leases – Part V of the HA 1985

See ss.4(1)(e) and 27(2)(b)(iv), LRA 2002.

All leases, irrespective of the length of the term of the lease, made pursuant to Part V of the HA 1985 are compulsorily registrable.

3.7 Leases where s.171A, HA 1985 applies

See ss.4(1)(f) and 27(2)(b)(v), LRA 2002.

All leases, irrespective of the length of the term of the lease, made pursuant to s.171A, HA 1985 (Preserved Right to Buy) are compulsorily registrable.

3.8 Reversionary leases taking effect more than three months from the date of the grant

See ss.4(1)(d) and 27(2)(b)(ii), LRA 2002.

A ‘reversionary’ lease gives the lessee a right to possession of the leased property in the future, ie the lessee does not have an immediate right to possession of the land in the lease, at the date of the lease.

A lease granted out of either an:

  • unregistered leasehold estate, that at the date of grant has more than seven years left to run
  • unregistered freehold estate, or
  • existing registered title

that is granted for any term to take effect more than three months from the date of the grant is compulsorily registrable.

3.9 Discontinuous leases out of registered titles or granted for a term of more than seven years out of unregistered land

See s.27(2)(b)(iii), LRA 2002.

These are leases where the lessee’s ‘right to possession’ of the land demised is discontinuous. The lease may be of a property, eg a flat, apartment or market stall, that is for either:

  • a specified number of days in a week, eg every Monday to Friday (inclusive), or
  • a specific week(s) in a calendar year.

All discontinuous leases granted out of a registered title must be registered, regardless of the term.

Discontinuous leases granted for a term of more than seven years out of unregistered freehold or leasehold estates will be compulsory registrable.

See ss.4(1)(c) and 4(2)(b), LRA 2002 and see section 3.1 New leases granted for a term of more than seven years out of unregistered land.

To calculate the length of the term on such a lease, multiply the number of complete weeks each year the property is demised by the number of years granted.

If the total is more than seven years (ie more than 364 complete weeks), the lease and/or transfer will be compulsorily registrable.

3.10 Protected first legal mortgage

See ss.4(1)(g) and 4(2)(b), LRA 2002 and rr.21 and 22, LRR 2003.

A protected first legal mortgage of an unregistered leasehold estate, that has more than seven years of its term unexpired, is subject to compulsory first registration. In order for such a mortgage to be registered, the leasehold estate will also need to be registered. R.21, LRR 2003 allows a mortgagee of a protected first legal mortgage to apply to have the leasehold estate registered, whether or not the mortgagor consents to the application.

NB1: A ‘protected mortgage’ is a mortgage that is protected by the deposit of documents relating to the mortgaged estate – see s.4(8)(a), LRA 2002.

NB2: A ‘first legal mortgage’ is a legal mortgage that ranks in priority over all other mortgages affecting the mortgaged estate – see s.4(8)(b), LRA 2002.

4 How to apply the LRA 2002 and LRR 2003 – voluntary registration

S.3, LRA 2002 gives details of when an application can be made to voluntarily register an unregistered leasehold estate.

S.3(4A), LRA 2002 specifically excludes relevant social tenancies from being eligible for voluntary registration.

The following sections mainly apply to leases that are made before 13 October 2003 and when no events requiring registration have occurred. However, some of the sections will also apply to some leases that are granted on or after 13 October 2003, that can be registered but may not be subject to compulsory registration. For example, see section 4.2 Discontinuous leases out of unregistered land.

The following sections give details of the leasehold estates in land that can be lodged voluntarily for first registration.

4.1 Leases having more than seven years of their term unexpired

See s.3(3), LRA 2002.

Most leases will be accepted for registration, provided there is more than seven years of the original term left unexpired at the time of first registration. If the lease is granted on or after 13 October 2003 it will be subject to compulsory registration – see section 3.1 New leases granted for a term of more than seven years out of unregistered land.

Where a lessee holds a lease in possession but is granted another lease of the same land, to take effect in possession on or within one month of the expiry of the first lease, the two terms can be treated as creating one continuous term – see s.3(7), LRA 2002. Therefore, if the two terms total more than seven years, we will accept a voluntary application for registration of both leases, that will be registered together on the same title.

NB: S.3(7), LRA 2002 only provides that such leases can be treated as creating one continuous term for the purposes of voluntary registration. There is no provision that such leases are to be treated as one continuous term for the purposes of compulsory registration.

4.2 Discontinuous leases out of unregistered land

See s.3(4), LRA 2002. This provision is new under the LRA 2002.

See section 3.9 Discontinuous leases out of registered titles or granted for a term of more than seven years out of unregistered land as to what constitutes a ‘discontinuous’ lease, and how to calculate the length of the term of the lease.

A voluntary application will be accepted, regardless of the length of the term, ie the lease does not have to be for more than seven years (364 weeks). However, if a discontinuous lease is granted on or after 13 October 2003, or a transfer of a discontinuous lease is made on or after 13 October 2003, it must be registered if it falls within ss.4(1)(c) and 4(1)(a), LRA 2002 – see sections 3.1 New leases granted for a term of more than seven years out of unregistered land and 3.3 Transfers or assignments of unregistered leases having more than seven years of the term unexpired.

To calculate the length of the term on such a lease, multiply the number of complete weeks each year the property is demised by the number of years granted.

If the total is more than seven years (ie more than 364 complete weeks) the lease and/or transfer will be compulsorily registrable.

5 How to apply the LRA 2002 and LRR 2003 – leases that cannot be registered

S.3(5), LRA 2002 specifically details when we cannot accept an application to register a leasehold estate, ie if the estate owner (the applicant) has the leasehold estate vested in them as a mortgagee, where there is a subsisting right of redemption.

The following sections give details of the leasehold estates in land that cannot be lodged for registration.

5.1 Leases granted for a term of seven years or less or where the unexpired term is for seven years or less

Ss.3(3), 4(1)(c) and 27(2)(b)(i), LRA 2002 state that leases must be granted for a period of more than seven years to be registrable, or have more than seven years of the term unexpired.

NB: The following are exceptions to this and these leases can be registered irrespective of their term.

  • Right to buy leases, pursuant to Part V of the HA 1985.
  • Preserved right to buy leases pursuant to s.171A, HA 1985.
  • Discontinuous leases.
  • Reversionary leases granted on or after 13 October 2003 that are to take effect more than three months from the date of grant out of either:
    • an unregistered freehold estate
    • an unregistered leasehold estate in land for a term that at the time of the grant of the lease has more than seven years left to run, or
    • a registered title.

NB: Some of these leases are compulsorily registrable. See section 3 How to apply the LRA 2002 and LRR 2003 – compulsory registration for further details.

5.2 Lease term starts more than 21 years from date of lease

Usually a lease for which a rent or premium is payable where the term starts more than 21 years from the date of the lease is void – see s.149(3), Law of Property Act 1925. Therefore, such leases cannot be registered.

5.3 Leases with no certain start date

If no commencement date is stated in the lease, it cannot be assumed it will start on the same date as the lease. Consequently as the term of the lease is not certain, these leases cannot be registered.

5.4 Lessor and lessee are the same

The House of Lords decided that neither one person, nor a company, can create a lease in favour of the same person or company. Any attempt to do so is without legal effect (Rye v Rye [1962] A C 496). Therefore, we cannot give any kind of registered title to such a lease.

5.5 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) leases

A PPP lease is a lease that constitutes a ‘public-private partnership’ agreement – see ss.210 and 211 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999.

The lease will usually be between London Regional Transport, Transport for London or one of its subsidiaries and a private company, for the purpose of maintaining or providing a railway, eg an underground railway.

PPP leases are not registrable – see ss.90(1), (2) and (3), LRA 2002.

They are classed as an interest that overrides both first registration and registered dispositions – see s.90(5), LRA 2002.

5.6 Leases vested in a person as a mortgagee – subsisting right of redemption

See s.3(5), LRA 2002.

A lease vested in a person as mortgagee where there is a subsisting right of redemption cannot be registered.

5.7 Relevant social housing tenancies

See ss.3(4A), 4(5A) and 27(5A), LRA 2002.

A relevant social housing tenancy (as defined in s.132(1), LRA 2002) cannot be registered.

6 How to apply the LRA 2002 and LRR 2003 – noting of leases

See ss.32, 33, 34, 37 and 38, LRA 2002.

S.32, LRA 2002 allows us to note certain leases against the registered estate affected, ie lessor’s title.

6.1 Noting of leases granted out of registered titles on or after 13 October 2003

When an application is lodged for registration of a lease granted out of registered land that is required to be registered (see section 3 How to apply the LRA 2002 and LRR 2003 – compulsory registration for further details) no application is required to note the lease on the lessor’s registered title. Notice will automatically be entered in the lessor’s title by Land Registry, pursuant to s.38, LRA 2002.

6.2 Noting of leases on lessors’ registered superior titles following first registration

See r.37, LRR 2003.

An application to register a lease that was either:

  • not granted out of a registered estate, or
  • granted before the commencement of LRA 2002, and
  • was not previously compulsorily registrable (eg a lease of more than seven years but for 21 years or less)

will be treated as an application for first registration.

Provided the lease can be noted – see section 6.4 Leases that we cannot note – Land Registry will automatically note the lease in the lessor’s registered superior title (if it is not already noted), subject to serving notice on the lessor – see r.37(3), LRR 2003. If the lessor’s consent is lodged with the application we will not need to serve notice on the lessor.

6.3 Noting of leases for more than three years

If a notice is not automatically made in the lessor’s title under s.38, LRA 2002 or r.37(3), LRR 2003 an application may be made for a notice to be entered if the lease:

  • is granted for a term of more than three years
  • does not relate to a trust of land or a settlement under the Settled Land Act 1925.

See ss.32, 33 and 34, LRA 2002.

See section 3 How to apply the LRA 2002 and LRR 2003 – compulsory registration, for details of leases that must be registered.

See section 7.3 Noting of leases for details on how an application is made.

S.37, LRA 2002 also allows Land Registry to note leases of more than three years but not exceeding seven years in a registered superior title, even though the lease itself will be incapable of substantive registration.

6.4 Leases that we cannot note

See s.33, LRA 2002.

We cannot note the following in the register. Leases that are:

  • granted for a term of three years or less – and are not required to be substantively registered – see s.33(b), LRA 2002. See section 3 How to apply the LRA 2002 and LRR 2003 – compulsory registration, for details of leases that must be registered NB: This applies to any discontinuous leases that are not compulsorily registrable, where the total period is three years or less.
  • Public–Private Partnership leases – see s.90(4), LRA 2002
  • relevant social housing tenancies – see s.33(ba), LRA 2002.

7 How to apply the LRA 2002 and LRR 2003 – and make applications to Land Registry

7.1 First registration

The estate owner or their successor in title should apply for first registration – see s.6(1), LRA 2002.

The period for registration is two months from the date of the deed inducing registration – see ss.6(4) and (5), LRA 2002.

Applications must be lodged in form FR1 – see r.23(1), LRR 2003.

R.24, LRR 2003 gives details of what must accompany an application for first registration, ie:

  • sufficient details, by plan or otherwise, so that the land can be identified clearly on the Ordnance Survey map
  • the lease and a certified copy

NB1: If the plan, or sufficient details to identify the land, are included in the lease, a further plan will not be required.

NB2: If the lease is a discontinuous lease, a copy of any ‘timeshare’ calendar defining the weeks referred to will be required, if it is not included in the lease.

  • evidence that stamp duty land tax certificate (SDLT) requirements have been met.

Advice on whether a particular transaction:

  • requires to be notified to HMRC on a land transaction return certificate
  • is exempt from SDLT (such as a legal charge)
  • falls outside the scope of SDLT

can be obtained from the stamp taxes helpline on 0300 200 3510, open 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday except public holidays. HMRC’s stamp taxes website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/so also offers assistance.

  • all deeds and documents relating to the title that are in the control of the applicant

NB: If absolute leasehold is requested in form FR1 and the evidence of the superior title(s) is not lodged, we will only register the applicant with good leasehold title. We will not raise a requisition for this evidence.

  • a list in duplicate in form DL of all the documents delivered.

For more general information on lodging an application for first registration see Practice Guide 1 – First registrations.

If the lease is granted to two or more persons and it either does not contain details, or contains conflicting information, as to whether a Form A restriction (see Schedule 4, LRR 2003) is required, we will enter a restriction in Form A by default. If the lease is granted on or after 19 June 2006 and contains the prescribed clauses, a declaration of trust is contained in clause LR14. For further information see Practice Guide 24 – Private trusts of land.

Any restrictions, other than a Form A restriction, must be applied for in form RX1 – r.92, LRR 2003. For further information see Practice Guide 19 – Notices, restrictions and the protection of third party interests in the register. A restriction cannot be applied for in a lease however, from 9 January 2006, a lease containing clauses LR1 to LR14 of Schedule 1A, LRR 2003 may be used, at clause LR13, to apply for entry of a standard form restriction. This will include prescribed clauses leases granted on or after 19 June 2006. An application for a non-standard restriction must always be made in form RX1. For further information see Practice Guide 64 – Prescribed clauses leases 7.13 LR13.

A leasehold register will include sufficient details of the lease being registered to enable it to be identified – see r.6, LRR 2003. Such details will no longer include any reference to the rent payable under a lease.

7.2 Leases out of a registered title

These applications must be lodged in form AP1 – r.13, LRR 2003.

The lease, a certified copy and the appropriate fee under the current Land Registration Fee Order must accompany the application.

NB: If a certified copy is not lodged with your application – r.203, LRR 2003 – we will retain the original lease and it may be destroyed.

The lease, if granted on or after 19 June 2006, must be a prescribed clauses lease. For further information see Practice Guide 64 – Prescribed clauses leases.

The lease must be accompanied by evidence that SDLT requirements have been met.

A leasehold register will include sufficient details of the lease being registered to enable it to be identified – see r.6, LRR 2003. Such details will no longer include any reference to the rent payable under a lease.

If the lease is granted to two or more persons and it either does not contain details, or contains conflicting information, as to whether a Form A restriction (see Schedule 4, LRR 2003) is required, we will enter a restriction in Form A by default. If the lease is a prescribed clauses lease a declaration of trust is contained in clause LR14. For further information see Practice Guide 24 – Private trusts of land.

Any restrictions, other than a Form A restriction, must be applied for in form RX1 – r.92, LRR 2003. For further information see Practice Guide 19 – Notices, restrictions and the protection of third party interests in the register. A standard restriction cannot be applied for in a lease. However, from 9 January 2006, a lease containing clauses LR1 to LR14 of Schedule 1A, LRR 2003 may be used, at clause LR13, to apply for entry of a standard form restriction. This will include prescribed clauses leases granted on or after 19 June 2006. Form RX1 must continue to be used to apply for entry of a restriction contained in any other lease, or for entry of a non-standard form restriction.

7.3 Noting of leases

See ss.33, 34 and 35 LRA 2002.

NB: Application to note a lease as an agreed or unilateral notice will not fulfil the registration requirements for legal easements. If the lease contains easements you should apply as directed in Practice Guide 62 – Easements – 5.2 Easements in unregistered leases.

7.3.1 Agreed notices

If a lease is not automatically noted under s.38, LRA 2002 or r.37, LRR 2003, and is not prevented from being noted (see section 6.4 Leases that we cannot note), an application may be made for an agreed notice to be entered in the register affected by the interest by either:

  • the person entitled to the benefit of the interest
  • the registered proprietor of the land in which the notice is to be entered, or
  • a person entitled to be registered as such proprietor, such as the personal representative of a sole registered proprietor.

Such an application should be accompanied by:

  • the original lease or counterpart lease, together with a certified copy

NB: If a certified copy is not lodged with your application – r.203, LRR 2003 – we will retain the original lease.

  • evidence that SDLT requirements have been met

NB: Before we can note any land transaction as an agreed or unilateral notice, Land Registry is obliged to ensure that the appropriate SDLT certificate accompanies the application where this is required. This is a statutory requirement under s.79(1), Finance Act 2003. See section 7.1 First registration for details.

  • if the application is by a person entitled to be registered as proprietor, sufficient evidence to satisfy us of their interest
  • if the application is not made by the registered proprietor or a person entitled to be registered as such proprietor, either the consent of such person, or sufficient evidence to satisfy the registrar as to the validity of the claim
  • any appropriate consents of restrictioners.

For further details see Practice Guide 19 – Notices, restrictions and the protection of third party interests in the register.

7.3.2 Unilateral notices

It may be possible to make an application for a unilateral notice to be entered on the lessor’s title when an agreed notice cannot be entered. For further details see Practice Guide 19 – Notices, restrictions and the protection of third party interests in the register.

7.3.3 Leases with less than one year to run

We will not note leases with less than one year to run. This is because, in the registrar’s view, entering notice of such a lease in the register is likely to cause inconvenience to Land Registry and our customers as application would have to be made within a year for its removal.

7.4 Deeds of variation

7.4.1 Variation of a registered lease

If lodging an application to register the variation of a lease when the lessee’s title is registered, it will usually be appropriate to make the application under r.129, LRR 2003, and, therefore, the application should be lodged in form AP1 – r.13, LRR 2003.

Under r.129, LRR 2003 you must provide sufficient evidence to show that the variation has effect at law, otherwise your application will be cancelled. You must, therefore, lodge:

  • the deed of variation, and
  • consent(s) of any chargee or restrictioner if required, or
  • where the lessor’s title is unregistered – evidence of the lessor’s title, and
  • any other evidence to show that the variation has effect at law, eg evidence of change of name of one of the parties if the name is not the same as that shown on the register.

If we are satisfied that the variation has effect at law we will make an entry relating to the deed in the property register of the lessee’s title. We will also enter a notice in the lessor’s title, without a specific application being made in form AN1 in respect of the lessor’s title.

NB: If the chargee’s consent is not lodged when required, the following will be added to the register entry of the relevant titles:

'NOTE: The proprietor of the registered charge dated […] [of the landlord’s/tenant’s title number …] was not a party to the deed nor was evidence of its consent to the deed produced to the registrar.'

7.4.2 Variation of an unregistered lease

If notice of an unregistered lease is entered in a lessor’s title, an application may be made to enter a notice in respect of a variation of the lease. Such an application should usually be made for an agreed notice in form AN1, if the deed of variation can be provided and the lease is already protected as an agreed notice. However, it may be appropriate in some circumstances to make an application in form UN1, for example if the lease is already protected by way of unilateral notice and the lease or/and the deed of variation cannot be provided. For further details see Practice Guide 19 – Notices, restrictions and the protection of third party interests in the register.

Please note that where an application is being made for an agreed or unilateral notice following a deed of variation, the application can be made in respect of the lessor’s title only. This is because, under s.32(1), LRA 2002, a notice is an entry in the register “in respect of the burden of an interest affecting a registered estate”. The lease is clearly an interest burdening the lessor’s registered estate and so can be the subject of a notice in the lessor’s title; it can be argued that any deed of variation can also be noted as the entry is then “in respect of” this burden. But the lease is not an interest affecting the lessee’s estate: it is their estate. So the lease cannot be the subject of a notice in the lessee’s title; and nor, as a result, can the deed of variation be the subject of such a notice.

7.4.3 Application to note variation where it is not clear that the variation takes effect at law

It may be appropriate in some cases to apply for a notice in either:

  • form AN1, or
  • form UN1

in respect of a deed of variation even when the lease is substantively registered, as sufficient evidence may not be able to be provided to satisfy the registrar that the variation takes effect at law. For further details see Practice Guide 19 – Notices, restrictions and the protection of third party interests in the register.

NB: If the deed of variation contains easements, these will not operate at law until entries relating to the burden and benefit of the easement are entered in both registered titles – see s.27(1) and paragraph 7 of Schedule 2, LRA 2002.

Please note that where an application is being made for an agreed or unilateral notice following a deed of variation, the application can be made in respect of the lessor’s title only. This is because, under s.32(1), LRA 2002, a notice is an entry in the register “in respect of the burden of an interest affecting a registered estate”. The lease is clearly an interest burdening the lessor’s registered estate and so can be the subject of a notice in the lessor’s title; it can be argued that any deed of variation can also be noted as the entry is then “in respect of” this burden. But the lease is not an interest affecting the lessee’s estate: it is their estate. So the lease cannot be the subject of a notice in the lessee’s title; and nor, as a result, can the deed of variation be the subject of such a notice.

7.4.4 Variation of term or extent

Although it is clear in law that the term of a lease cannot be extended by deed, deeds of variation are frequently encountered that purport to either:

  • vary the length of a lease, or
  • increase the land demised.

You should avoid using a deed of variation in such circumstances.

However, if these deeds are lodged for registration, we will treat them as an immediate surrender of the old lease and the grant of the new lease. A deed varying a lease that takes effect as a surrender and re-grant of the leasehold estate does not have to be a prescribed clauses lease. This exception applies whether or not the original lease was a prescribed clauses lease. For further details see Practice Guide 28 – Extension of leases.

For guidance on how to correct the extent demised by the lease or the length of the term, see Practice Guide 68 – Amending deeds that effect dispositions of registered land – 5.4 Leases: Incorrect extent to term demised.

8 Preliminary service applications

8.1 First registration

For further details see:

8.2 Lease out of a registered title

For further details see:

NB: If you are lodging an official search of part affecting a discontinuous lease, ensure you include details of any particular time period as well as the property details, eg ‘Apartment 6 for Week 27’.

9 Enquiries and comments

If you have a particular concern that is not covered by this guide, please contact Land Registry in advance of the transaction – see Contact details. If the transaction is particularly complex, it may be better if you make your enquiry in writing at the Land Registry office that will process your application.

If you have any comments or suggestions about our guides, please send them to:

Central Operations Group
Land Registry
Trafalgar House
1 Bedford Park
Croydon
CR0 2AQ

(DX 8888 Croydon 3)

Land Registry advisory policy

We offer advice to our customers through our publications and Customer Support information and through the day-to-day handling of applications.

We provide factual information including official copies of registers, title plans and documents, searches and details of our forms and fees.

We provide procedural advice to explain how the land registration system works and how to make applications correctly. This includes:

  • advice in advance of an application, where this is requested
  • where an application is defective, advice as to the nature of the problem and what options, if any, are available to put it right
  • an approval service for estate layout plans and certain other land registration documents.

There are limits to the advice that we will provide. We will not provide legal advice.

This means that:

  • we will not approve the evidence to be produced in support of a registration application before we receive the application
  • apart from procedural advice, we will not advise on what action to take
  • we will not recommend a professional adviser but can explain how to find one.

We provide advice only about real cases, not about theoretical circumstances. We will not express a view on questions where the law is complex or unclear except where the question arises on a live registration application.

In providing this factual information and procedural advice we will:

  • be impartial
  • recognise that others may be affected by what we say
  • avoid any conflict of interest.

Contact details

For customer enquiries and to request this publication in an alternative format please contact Customer Support at customersupport@landregistry.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 0844 892 1111, or 0844 892 1122 for a Welsh-speaking service, from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm. Calls cost 3p a minute on a BT standard tariff, in addition to the current set up/connection charge. Calls from other tariffs, service providers and mobile phones may cost more. We do not receive any revenue from these calls.

To obtain copies of this and all our other guides, free of charge:

Information in this guide

The information in this publication is for the purpose of providing general guidance about Land Registry's procedures and policies. It is intended only as a guide and does not cover every situation that may arise. It also does not limit Land Registry's ability to use its discretion when appropriate to do so, within the land registration legislation.

Remember

  • Have you lodged the application in the correct form?
    • Form FR1 for a first registration.
    • Form AP1 for a lease out of a registered title.
  • Have you lodged any necessary consents?
    • First registration – where the reversionary title is registered and absolute leasehold title has been requested.
    • Lease out of a registered title – consents in respect of any restrictions in the proprietorship register or charges in the charges register of the lessor’s title.
  • Discontinuous or timeshare lease – is there a copy of the timeshare calendar in the lease, or do you need to lodge one separately?
  • Have you lodged a certified copy of the lease?

NB: If a certified copy is not lodged with your application, we will retain the original lease – r.203, LRR 2003.

  • If applying for any restrictions, have you lodged a form RX1?
  • Have you lodged the correct fee? See the current Land Registration Fee Order.

Important: please check clerical details in all forms and deeds (especially charges and mortgages) and pay particular attention to all dates, property descriptions, title numbers, and full names of parties, especially where they appear in more than one deed.

Please note that Land Registry may be unable to process applications that are incomplete or defective and your application will risk losing its priority if we have to return it to you – for more information see Practice Guide 49 – Rejection of applications for registration.

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