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Registration gap

Who can forfeit?

Scribes West Ltd v Relsa Anstalt
[2004] EWCA Civ 1744

Forfeiture
    "This appeal raises a short but important point on the right to forfeit a lease of registered land [under the Land Registration Act 1925], in the period between execution of a transfer of the reversion and its registration. The sole issue is whether, for the purposes of a valid forfeiture by [the purchaser of the reversion], it was sufficient that the transfer of the reversion had been executed and notice given to the lessee, notwithstanding that the transfer had not been registered."
Decision

The judge held that it was, applying section 141(2) of the Law of Property Act 1925. The Court of Appeal upheld that decision. The purchaser could forfeit because it was the person entitled to income for the purposes of s141(2) of the Law of Property Act 1925. The word "entitled" does not of itself import a distinction between legal and equitable interests. It simply connotes an enforceable right to the relevant income. Section 141 provides:
    "(1) Rent reserved by a lease, and the benefit of every covenant or provision therein contained, having reference to the subject-matter thereof, and on the lessee's part to be observed or performed, and every condition of re-entry and other condition therein contained, shall be annexed and incident to and shall go with the reversionary estate in the land, or in any part thereof, immediately expectant on the term granted by the lease, notwithstanding severance of that reversionary estate, and without prejudice to any liability affecting a covenantor or his estate.

    (2) Any such rent, covenant or provision shall be capable of being recovered, received, enforced, and taken advantage of, by the person from time to time entitled, subject to the term, to the income of the whole or any part, as the case may require, of the land leased."

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