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Archive for June, 2011

Easements, covenants and profits a prendre

Following a comprehensive legal review of easements, covenants and profits a prendre and publication of a Consultation Paper in 2008, the Law Commission published its long awaited Report on 8 June 2011.  Its aim is “to simplify the law, remove contradictions and anomalies, and minimise the need for litigation”.  Appended to the Report is a draft Bill and Explanatory Notes.

It addresses difficult areas of law governing relationships between differing land owners - in particular the rights of one owner to make use of or take something from another’s land, and obligations relating to use of land.  The Report examines existing law, recommends reform and translates recommendations into proposed legislation.  In particular, it looks at the acquisition and creation of an easement or profit through prescription and implication and the law relating to abandonment.  It recognises that the existing law of freehold covenants suffers from serious defects and recommends the introduction of a new legal interest called “a land obligation”.  The Commission wishes to see reform and clarification in the registration of land titles as seen in other jurisdictions and addresses extending the jurisdiction of the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal (”the Lands Tribunal”).

The Report addresses freehold covenants (not leasehold) but does not consider public law rights, such as public rights of way.  Nor, sadly, does it review specific private rights such as rights to light, although the Commission recognises the need for further work in this area.

The full Report is, as one would anticipate, lengthy.  If you wish to hear more, why not contact Hatherleigh Training?