Leases - Enlargement of Long Leases into Freehold
1. Enlargement of Leases for Lives Renewable forever into Freehold under the Renewable Leaseholds Conversion Act 1849
Where a lease for lives renewable forever was created after the 1st of August 1849 it operated automatically as a fee farm grant without it being necessary to obtain a grant, provided only that the lessor had at the time an estate in fee simple or was competent to convey a fee simple estate in the lands.
Prior to the 1 January 1967, pursuant to section 53(1) of the Registration of Title Act 1891 the title to leases for lives renewable forever was registered in the leasehold register.
The title to the interest remains on such register unless and until the lease is shown to be converted into a fee farm grant or grant in perpetuity.
After the 1 January 1967, section 2 of the Registration of Title Act 1964 defines “fee simple” as including estates held under fee farm grants and perpetuity grants, and since that date the title to such interests are entered in the freehold register.
Pursuant to section 48 of the Registration of Title Act 1964, Rule 44 of the Land Registration Rules 2012 provides that, where a registered leasehold interest has been converted into a fee farm grant or grant in perpetuity, the fact of such conversion can be noted in the register on lodgement of an application in LR Form 1 of the Land Registration Rules 2012.
Rule 44 provides that the provisions of the Rules relating to the requirements for the registration of first registration applications shall, where necessary apply, except that a plan need not be lodged with the application.
On the completion of such application the property is transferred from the Register of Leaseholders to the Register of Freeholders. The perpetual yearly rents and covenants and conditions relating to the use and enjoyment of the property contained in the lease for lives are entered as a burden in Part 3 of the new freehold folio.
Such applications are to be passed to an Examiner of Titles for attention. A lease for lives or a renewable leasehold fee farm conversion grant is to be regarded as a good root of title. Other than in exceptional circumstances, prior documents of title relating to the grantors interest are not to be requisitioned nor searches made against such title. Lodgement of affidavit in LR Form 1 of the Land Registration Rules will generally suffice and (in view of the antiquity of such titles) discretion is to be exercised if Rulings are being raised.
Lessees holding under Leases for Lives created before the 1st of August 1849 were only given the right to obtain a grant and frequently the right to convert the lease into a fee farm grant was not exercised and with the passage of time, lives were not renewed. Prior to the 8th of September 1980 (date of commencement of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act of 1980), where a renewable lease was not converted under the Renewable Leasehold Conversion and lives were not renewed the interest of the person entitled to the lessees interest was frequently in the nature of a yearly tenancy and thus was not registerable. An application based on adverse possession could not be made in view of the covenant for renewal in such leases. Section 74 of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 cured the situation by providing that such interest shall be converted into a fee simple and that estate shall be a graft on the previous interest of such person and is subject to the rent and covenants in the same way as if the lease had been converted into a fee farm grant under the 1849 Act
On an application for registration of a title under a Lease for Lives renewable forever which has been converted to a fee simple by section 74 of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 the burden of rents and covenants is to be added to as follows: ” by virtue of section 74 of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980″.
Note: The Renewable Leasehold Conversion Act of 1849 in so far as it had been unrepealed is now totally repealed by Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009.
2. Enlargement of certain Long Leases under Section 65 of the Conveyancing Act 1881 as amended by Section 11 of the Conveyancing Act 1882
Section 65 of the Conveyancing Act 1881 provides for the enlargement of the residue of the term of a lease into a fee simple where:
1. the lease is for a term of more than 300 years of which more than 200 years are still unexpired
2. the lease is one without any rent payable, or, with merely a peppercorn rent or other rent having no money value incident to the reversion, or having a rent which has become released or has become barred by lapse of time or has in any way ceased to be payable.
3. It is not a lease which is liable to be determined by re-entry for breach of a condition of the lease (see section 11 of the Conveyancing Act 1882).
4. It is not a sublease out of a superior lease itself incapable of being enlarged into a fee simple (see section 11 of the Conveyancing Act 1882).
5. the lease must be a valid lease i.e. not having been rendered void by the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) Act 1978 where the lease was executed after the 16th of May 1978.
6. The person purporting to enlarge the lease is entitled to the lessee’s interest under the lease (see Section 65(2) of the Conveyancing Act 1881)
7. The enlargement is effected by deed poll
8. The fee simple so acquired is subject to the same trusts, powers, executory limitations over, rights and equities and to all of the same covenants and conditions relating to user and enjoyment and to all of the obligations of every kind as the lease would have been subject to if it had not been so enlarged.
Such applications are to be passed to an Examiner of Title for attention. The application is to be made by way of lodgement of affidavit in LR Form 1 of the Land Registration Rules together with the documents of leasehold title, a map, the deed poll, and sufficient evidence of the fee simple title prior to the granting of the lease showing that there is no intermediate lease that would prevent enlargement. The names and addresses of the present owner of the fee simple and of incumbrancers are to be lodged (if available) and notice of the application served.
The title is to be registered on a freehold folio subject to such burdens which may affect it under section 65 of the Conveyancing Act 1881.
Property Registration Authority
1st December 2009
Updated 01 February 2013