Assignments of leases—when to register
Assignments of leases—when to register

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Assignments of leases—when to register
  • Registered leases
  • Unregistered leases
  • Potential issues

While this Practice Note primarily covers commercial property matters, it also touches on residential considerations.

Registered leases

It is compulsory to register most transfers of registered leases, irrespective of the length of the lease term. An application to register the transfer to the assignee must be made before the end of the priority period shown on HM Land Registry pre-completion search certificate. The priority period begins at the time when the search application is entered on HM Land Registry’s day list and ends at midnight at the end of the 30th business day afterwards. This ensures that the assignee’s transfer takes priority over any third party entry that appears subsequently on the day list, provided that the assignee’s application is received by the correct HM Land Registry office by 9.30am on the date when the priority period expires.LRA 2002, ss 4, 27(2)(a)HM Land Registry Practice Guide 25

Unregistered leases

Where the original lease was granted before 13 October 2003 for a term of less than 21 years, there was no obligation to register it. Since 13 October 2003, subject to certain exceptions, it has become compulsory to register the grant of a lease for a term of seven years or more out of unregistered or registered land, and the assignment of an unregistered lease which has more than seven years to run triggers first registration if the assignment was (inter alia):LRA 2002, ss 4(1)(a), 4(1)(aa), 4(1)(c), 4(2)(b) and 27(2)(b)(i)HM Land Registry Practice Guide 25

  1. made for valuable or other consideration

  2. by way of gift

  3. pursuant to the order of any court, or

  4. by means of an assent

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