Land rights reform

Law commission

Rights of way, mineral rights and other ancient land rights could be simplified, under reforms proposed by the Law Commission.

The Commission’s report, ‘Making Land Work: Easements, Covenants and Profits à Prendre’, outlines reforms to make it easier to identify the rights and responsibilities attaching to land.

It focuses on easements (the right to make use of another’s land, for example, a right of way), profits à prendre (the right to take something from someone’s else’s land) and freehold covenants (obligations relating to the use of land).

“Land obligations” could replace restrictive covenants, and the disposal of freehold units from multi-unit developments could be streamlined. The jurisdiction of the Lands Chamber could be extended.

Professor Elizabeth Cooke, the Law Commissioner leading the project, said: “By making the law more accessible and easier to operate, our recommended reforms will bring significant benefits to everyone involved in creating, modifying and extinguishing these rights.”

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