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Land Registry dispute

Q: Can a new partner who has not signed a partnership agreement, so is in a partnership 'at will', go to the Land Registry and introduce a new clause to the lapsed partnership's title deed for the surgery? The Land Registry has allowed this to happen without checking the signatories on the old partnership agreement. What can be done if the Land Registry refuses to remove the clause from the deed? It has informed us that parties in dispute must negotiate a solution or refer the problem to an adjudicator.

A: The Land Registry may register any application which is submitted to it and which appears to be genuine in that it does not overtly conflict with anything which is already on its register.

There is certainly no onus on the Land Registry to check whether the terms of a partnership/property agreement deed, which may have a bearing on an agreement between the parties, remains binding. Indeed, it is unlikely that the deed in question was ever sent to or required by the Land Registry.

However, if others believe a property registration is incorrect - if for example, it was based on apparently false evidence, they can seek to have it rectified.

On receiving an application for rectification, the Land Registry will serve notice on the other party that the application has been received and invite their comments. If comments are not received or if the issue is conceded, the rectification will be made.

If the issue is contested, the Land Registry must refer the case to the independent Land Registry Adjudicator. The adjudicator will usually hold a hearing to determine the outcome but also has the power to direct one of the parties to commence court proceedings instead.

Once the issue has been resolved, the Land Registry will update the register accordingly.

Lynne Abbess

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