Rentcharges—apportionment, termination and enforcement
Rentcharges—apportionment, termination and enforcement

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

  • Rentcharges—apportionment, termination and enforcement
  • Apportionment
  • Termination or extinguishment of rentcharges
  • Statutory redemption—England and Wales
  • Lapse of time
  • Enforcement of rentcharges
  • Right of re-entry
  • Entry onto the land to take the income from it/hold the land until arrears have been discharged
  • Grant of lease of the land charged on trust to raise arrears
  • Claim on the covenant
  • More...

Coronavirus (COVID-19): the coronavirus pandemic has caused the UK to expedite new insolvency provisions, both of a temporary and permanent nature. For news and guidance as to the implications from a property perspective see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for property — Property Insolvency.

A rentcharge is the payment of a sum of money charged on land. They can affect both freehold and leasehold estates. Typically, the owner of the rentcharge (the 'rent owner') reserves a periodic payment when a property is sold. Rentcharges were popular in Victorian times, when they were employed as a device to provide the seller of freehold land with a continuous income from the property following sale. The sums involved were not insignificant in that era but nowadays the annual sums reserved by rentcharges are usually less than £10. They are sometimes (and incorrectly) referred to as 'ground rent' or 'chief rent'. Rentcharges are also used as a mechanism to ensure positive covenants or payments of contributions to the cost of services are enforceable against successors in title ( sometimes referred to as estate rentcharges, see Practice Note: Estate rentcharges—freehold land) and ‘Estate rentcharges’ and ‘covenant-supporting’ rentcharges: Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents [2025].

The Rentcharges Act 1977 (RcA 1977) provides that, since 22 August 1977, only the following types of rentcharges can be created:

  1. estate rentcharges

  2. a rentcharge for the life of a person

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