Q&As

An easement granted by deed in 1920 is registered against the title to the dominant land but not the servient land. The servient land has recently been sold and the buyer may not be aware of the easement. Will the proprietor of the servient land be bound by the easement, even though it is not registered on that title? The buyer is carrying out some building works, which may interfere with the exercise of the easement. If the owner of the dominant land does not object, could an estoppel arise which would prevent the dominant owner from exercising the easement?

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Produced in partnership with Howard Smith of Radcliffe Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 29/03/2017

The following Property Q&A Produced in partnership with Howard Smith of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • An easement granted by deed in 1920 is registered against the title to the dominant land but not the servient land. The servient land has recently been sold and the buyer may not be aware of the easement. Will the proprietor of the servient land be bound by the easement, even though it is not registered on that title? The buyer is carrying out some building works, which may interfere with the exercise of the easement. If the owner of the dominant land does not object, could an estoppel arise which would prevent the dominant owner from exercising the easement?
  • Whether a purchaser of the servient tenant, who may be unaware of the easement, is bound by the easement even though it is not registered on his/her title
  • If the owner of the servient land (A) without any objection being raised by the owner of the dominant land (B) carries out building works which interfere with the exercise of the easement, could an estoppel arise which would prevent B from exercising the easement?

Whether a purchaser of the servient tenant, who may be unaware of the easement, is bound by the easement even though it is not registered on his/her title

In answering this Q&A, the following assumptions are made:

  1. the servient tenement was not registered when the easement was granted by deed in 1920

  2. the easement is a legal easement, having been granted by deed

The first registration of the servient tenement, whether under the Land Registration Act 1925 (LRA 1925) or under the Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA 2002), will have been subject to existing legal easements binding the servient tenement, under LRA 1925, s 5(b), Rule 258 of the Land Registration Rules 1925 (LRR 1925), SI 1925/1093 (SI 1925/1093, r 258), LRA 2002, ss 11(4), 12(4), Sch 1, para 3.

Under the LRA 1925, legal easements were overriding interests, see LRA 1925, s 70(1)(a) and LRR 1925, SI 1925/1093, r 258. Therefore any dispositions of the servient tenement’s registered title prior to 13 October 2003 (when the LRA 2002 came into

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