In our May issue we highlighted the fact that all unregistered rights of way were to be registered by the 30th of November 2012. Legislation now going through the Oireachtas will extend the three-year period during which existing rights of way must be registered to 12 years – from December 2012 to December 2021.
Also the new legislation will permit the Property Registration Authority to register the rights concerned, without a court order, in cases where there is no disagreement between the parties concerning entitlement to the right concerned.
Proposed amendments will allow a landowner who claims to be entitled to a right to apply to the Property Registration Authority to register that right on his or her land registry folio, and will permit the authority to do so, where a claim has been substantiated to its satisfaction.
In order to be satisfied that an owner’s claim has been substantiated and is not the subject of a dispute, the authority will serve notice on the relevant parties. The detailed notice and other statutory requirements will be published by the minister in the form of a statutory instrument.
The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 entered into operation on December 1, 2009, and updated the law concerning acquisition of easements and “profits à prendre”. The former are rights over neighbouring land – such as a right of way – while a profit is an established right to take, for example, turf or timber from land. Many of these property rights are registered in the Land Registry. However, where the right in question results from long usage, it may never have been registered, and one of the aims in the 2009 Act was to ensure registration of such rights.
In late 2010, however, the Law Society and the IFA made a submission to the Department of Justice expressing concern where there was no conflict over existence of these rights, the requirement to obtain a court order would lead to unnecessary expense for landowners and workload for the courts.
We will keep our readers update on the progress of this Bill through the Oireachtas as it is a topic which many will require advice on in the future. If you require any advices please do not hesitate to contact Joe Considine at the numbers displayed below.