Land Registration: Paragraph 3 Overriding Interests

Paragraph 3

The third overriding interest is a legal easement (or profit).

Express interests are registerable dispositions. It follows that if they are not registered then they cannot be legal. This means that an unregistered express easement cannot fall within Paragraph 3, which is expresly limited to legal easements. Other easements do fall within Paragraph 3.

A purchaser is protected if the easement is not 'obvious on a reasonably careful inspection of the land'. Does not apply in three cases:

  • Where the purchaser is aware of it.
  • If the right has been exercised in the past year (a warning to holders of easements which haven't been exercised to register them if they are concerned about protecting their priority!)
  • Pre-2002 easements remain overriding interests, free of the more restrictive rules in the 2002 Act (LRA Schedule 12 Paragraph 9). The huge majority of non-exercised easements are likely to be older ones and this means that the protection for purcahsers will have little practical effect for many years in the future.
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