Assignments of leases—when to register at HM Land Registry
Assignments of leases—when to register at HM Land Registry

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

  • Assignments of leases—when to register at HM Land Registry
  • Registered leases
  • Unregistered leases
  • What happens if the assignment is not registered within the relevant priority period?
  • Should the original lease have already been registered?
  • What happens if the assignment of an unregistered lease is not registered within two months of completion?
  • Potential issues when assignment triggers first registration

This Note considers registration at HM Land Registry following the assignment of a lease. While this Practice Note primarily covers commercial property matters, it also touches on residential considerations.

Registered leases

It is almost always compulsory to register the transfer of a registered lease, irrespective of the length of the lease term. Until the registration requirements are met, the transfer does not operate at law and the buyer’s title is merely equitable. In limited circumstances, an assignment by operation of law does not need to completed by registration.

An application to register the transfer to the assignee should be made before the end of the priority period shown on the HM Land Registry pre-completion search certificate or the tenant risks becoming subject to additional adverse rights affecting the registered title.

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 9:30 am on the date when the priority period expires.

See Practice Note: Pre-completion searches and Pre-completion searches—checklist.

Unregistered leases

Subject to certain exceptions, the