Cautions against first registration
Cautions against first registration

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

  • Cautions against first registration
  • What is a caution against first registration?
  • The caution register
  • What is the effect of a caution?
  • Lodging a caution—cautioners
  • Dealing with a caution—applicants for first registration

When a person who is not the legal owner has an interest in registered land, this interest can be protected by an entry on the title register. The Land Registration Act 1925 (LRA 1925) introduced cautions against first registration as a means of protecting a persons interest in land that is not registered at HM Land Registry. Since 13 October 2003, cautions are now governed by the Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA 2002) (which repealed the LRA 1925) and the Land Registration Rules 2003, SI 2003/1417 (LRR 2003, SI 2003/1417).

What is a caution against first registration?

A caution against first registration (the 'caution') can be lodged by a person (the 'cautioner') to protect a wide variety of interests in unregistered land, eg to oppose any proposed disposition of that land or protect an interest they may have such as a beneficial interest they may have in the unregistered land.

A caution does not create an interest in land and has no effect on the validity or priority of any interest the cautioner might have. It merely triggers HM Land Registry to notify the cautioner if and when any application for substantive registration is made, and gives them the opportunity to oppose such registration where they have reasonable cause to do so.

A person may, for example, wish to lodge a caution