Argyle Building Society v Hammond: CA 1984

The registered freehold proprietor (S) of a property lived abroad, his mother having power of attorney. His sister and her husband, Mr and Mrs Hammond, had the register altered to show themselves as the freehold proprietors. The primary case was that they had forged the mother’s signature on the transfer. A building society mortgage was taken and registered. Mr and Mrs Hammond defaulted on the mortgage, and the Society now sought possession. It was accepted that if S had indeed never transferred the property Mr and Mrs Hammond could not create a charge over it. The Society said that the ‘statutory magic’ of registration meant that the charge was nevertheless effective. S contended that that effect could be reversed by the rectification of the Register. On a preliminary issue, assuming the transfer was forged, the County Court held that it had no jurisdiction to make an order for rectification which would deprive the building society of the benefit of its charge.
Held: The original registrant’s appeal succeeded. The effect of section 82(2) of the 1925 Act was that the Court had jurisdiction not only to rectify the Proprietorship Register by restoring S as the registered proprietor but also to rectify the Charges Register by removing the building society’s charge. If it exercised its discretion to do so the society would be entitled to an indemnity under section 83.
Slade LJ summarised: ‘For the reasons already given, there is no doubt whatever that in the present case, on the basis of the assumed facts, the court would have jurisdiction, in the proper exercise of its discretion, to rectify the charges register as against the charges . . section 82(2) makes it clear that the jurisdiction is exercisable against persons claiming through a registered proprietor.’
The Court did not itself order rectification because the statutory discretion could not be exercised until the facts had been found, and the case was transferred to the Chancery Division for a trial.
Slade LJ
(1984) 49 PandCR 148
Land Registration Act 1925 82(2)
England and Wales
Cited by:

  • See Also – Norwich and Peterborough Building Society v Steed CA 5-Mar-1992
    The land-owner had given his mother power of attorney over his home. Her signature was forged on a transfer, and the transferee executed a charge in favour of the appellant. Transfer and charge were registered. A first line of cases restored the . .
    [1992] EWCA Civ 5, [1993] Ch 116
  • Cited – Gold Harp Properties Ltd v Macleod and Others CA 29-Jul-2014
    The company appealed against an order re-instating to the register leases which the company said it had forfeited for non-payment of rent. After the forfeiture, the landlord had granted new leases. It appealed saying that exceptional circumstances . .
    [2014] EWCA Civ 1084, [2014] WLR(D) 345

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 December 2020; Ref: scu.535828