The Law Commission's annual report contains a review of their current work including a long overdue - and I mean long - assessment on easements, covenants and [ahem] profits a prendre. Frankly, any law that continues to be described in Norman French is screaming out for reform. And don't get me started on the Prescription Act, a candidate for worst piece of legislation on the statute books.
The proposed reforms gathering dust in the Government's inbox include:
- Benefit and burden of positive obligations to run with the land.
- Simplify and clarify (please!) the rules on acquisition by prescription or implication.
- Greater flexibility to establish rights and obligations in larger developments.
- Creation of easements for e.g. car parking - clearly an issue that did not trouble the medieval creators of these laws.
Apparently, legislators have their hands full at present. Thus, will they find time for all this or will they hook it back into the long grass and make us wait for the next epoch? After all, why would those engaged in the world of property want the law made fit for modern purpose...
If this is of interest, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to call on 07816 755372 and let me know how I can help.
The law relating to these three types of right is ancient. It has been reviewed and reformed periodically over the centuries, but little has been done in recent years because the efforts of Parliament have been focused on the legal structures for land ownership and registration of title to land. The time is ripe for a comprehensive review and reform of this group of rights.