Before the raft of property legislation brought into force in 1926 all land was unregistered and title to the land had to be deduced from the deeds and documents and from inspection of the land. The Land Registration Act 1925 was introduced in order to simplify conveyancing and show a mirror of the title to a purchaser in one single document called a Title Information Document. The LRA 1925 has now been repealed and replaced by the LRA 2002. LRA 2002 is designed to further simplify the process of conveyancing. The Land Registration Act 2002 was introduced in response to the Law Commission and HM Land Registry report, Land Registration for the Twenty-first Century (2001). The act simplified and modernised the law of land registration; made the register reflect a more accurate picture of a title to land, showing more fully the rights and subsidiary interests that affect it; and was intended to facilitate the introduction of e-conveyancing. Although the LRA 2002 replaces the LRA 1925 in its entirety, it stands on the same structure and differs only in detail . This system was intended to advance the efficiency of conveyancing by making it easier and hassle-free to conduct transactions with the land. Certain interests can be protected as minor interest by means of notice or restrictions under LRA2002. According to the report by the Law Commission , Land Registration for the Twenty – First Century : A Conveyancing Revolution : (Law Com No 254) , one of the reasons for reform was that overriding interest was calling for too much litigation which should be reduced. Plus, it is only common sense that the very concept of overriding interest contradicts the principle behind land registration. The legislation was too complex, which affected the registration of interests. Also there was a gap between the act of transfer and subsequently registration which should be reduced with the use of technology. It was also agreed that in age of computing, there weren’t provisions in the earlier act which supports electronic conveyancing. The Commission was also of the opinion that the laws regarding adverse possession needed a transformation. So basically, the LRA 2002 wishes to achieve the original intentions of the LRA 1925.
As illustrated in Overseas Investment Services Ltd v Sim Co build Construction Ltd judicial opinion was also one for change. In this case Peter Gibson LJ stated, “as overriding interests constitute an exception to the mirror of title principle, the court should in my opinion, bet be astute to give a wide meaning to any item constituting an overriding interest.” The Register is supposed to be a perfect mirror of a title to a registered property but it is not due to category called overriding interests which binds registered proprietor regardless of his state of knowledge as to their existence. These overriding interests are governed by Schedule 3 of the Land Registration Act. There are quite a number of interests of which the main ones include short legal leases for less than 7 years found in paragraph 1, interest of persons in actual occupation found in paragraph 2 and easements and profits a prendre found in paragraph 3. LRA 1925, s.70(1)(g) protects an interest in land where its owner is in actual occupation on the land.
The justification for having overidding interest which exits outside the register is that they will be discoverable on inspection. The balance between the interest of purchaser and the objective of 1925 act and the interest of person who for some social or technical reason require the additional protection of an overidding interest. Balance should therefore be struck. Difficulty with this theory is that is pre-supposes that all overidding interests are discoverable on inspection. For instance, the right of an adverse possessor were protected under s70(1)(f) LRA 1925 but there was no requirement that he should be in actual possession . His rights might not, therefore , have been discoverable on inspection and indeed they might not even have known to the vendor , as in Red house Farms (Thordon) Ltd v Catchpole where the owner was unaware that defendant was shooting fowl on his land and looking at the case of Prudential Assurance Company Limited v Waterloo Real Estate Inc. Waterloo’s conduct in respect of the wall without