By Kate Hicks

Schedule 4 of the Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA 2002) makes provision for changes being made to HM Land Register. It provides that rectification is a specific type of alteration that (a) involves the correction of a mistake; and (b) prejudicially affects the title of a registered proprietor. However, the lack of a definition of a “mistake” within Schedule 4 LRA 2002 has, over recent years, given rise to some complex, but important, litigation.

Walker Morris has previously reported on the key case of NRAM v Evans, in which the Court of Appeal confirmed that, when considering whether a particular entry or deletion on a register of title is a “mistake”, one should look at the point in time at which the entry or deletion was made. One should then draw a distinction between voidable and void transactions, because a change to a register of title based on a voidable disposition (that had not been declared void at the time of the change to the register) was correct at that time, and was not therefore a mistake. By contrast, a change to the register based on a void disposition would be a mistake and would give rise to a right to rectify the register or to an indemnity from HM Land Registry.