The title register—alteration, rectification and indemnity
The title register—alteration, rectification and indemnity

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

  • The title register—alteration, rectification and indemnity
  • ‘Mistake’
  • Alteration
  • Rectification
  • Indemnity

Land Registration Act 2002 makes provision for 'alteration' of the register on a number of grounds and employs a narrower concept of 'rectification' than under Land Registration Act 1925. Rectification is defined as a particular form of alteration directly linked to the circumstances in which an indemnity is payable. 'Rectification' means an alteration which involves the correction of a mistake and prejudicially affects the title of a registered proprietor. The statutory powers to alter the register, so far as relating to rectification, extend to changing for the future the priority of any interest affecting the registered estate or charge concerned.

‘Mistake’

Although the word 'mistake' is used in relation to alteration and rectification of the register, it is not defined in the legislation. Case law and the Law Commission report leading to the Land Registration Act 2002 show that it encompasses:

  1. error on the part of HM Land Registry staff

  2. mistake by the parties themselves (eg double conveyancing)

  3. mistake by wrong application whether fraudulent or not (see Argyle Building Society v Hammond (1984) 49 P & CR 148—not reported by LexisNexis®)

  4. the registration of a forged or otherwise void transfer, for example where the transfer is not properly executed

  5. an entry made on the basis of a false but unopposed claim to adverse possession

The question is whether, had the Land Registry known the true facts