Kent County Council v Fremlin: LRA 14 Jan 2011

Charges and Charging Orders : Charges Imposed Pursuant To Statute – Where an objection is made to the Chief Land Registrar under section73 of the Land Registration Act 2002 by somebody who would not be an appropriate party in respect of the dispute if there were court proceedings, the Adjudicator has a discretion how to proceed taking into account the overriding objective set out in rule 3 of the Adjudicator to Her Majesty’s Land Registry (Practice and Procedure) Rules 2003. In a clear case that may involve directing the Chief Land Registrar to give effect to or to cancel the referred application. In other cases it may involve the substitution or addition of an appropriate Respondent. It is not appropriate to conduct lengthy judicial proceedings between A and B, when the issues raised are in fact only between A and C, and a decision between A and B will not bind either A or C as against the other of them.
In the present case, even on the basis that there is an arguable case as regards the amount of, and validity of an assessment made by the Applicant under section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948, this does not invalidate the charge declared by the Applicant under section 22 of the Health and Social Services and Social Security Act 1983 as a result of that party’s failure to pay any sum assessed as due under section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948. Accordingly, it is not appropriate to add the person whose land is the subject of the charge as a Respondent, in the absence of any attempt by her to challenge the charge.
Given the age and state of health of that person, and the problems that would be caused by joining her, together with other matters referred to in the decision, on the arguments to date she should not be joined even if there was a serious issue to be tried as to the validity of the charge, as a decision that it should be registered will not prevent a subsequent challenge to it by her personal representatives, and there is no suggestion that there will be any need to deal with the property in the meantime.

[2011] EWLandRA 2010 – 0756

Registered Land

Updated: 25 November 2021; Ref: scu.517427