Rentcharge on freehold property advice

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    Rentcharge on freehold property advice


    I have had an offer accepted on a freehold property. The title register states that it is 'Title absolute' and is listed as freehold on HM Land registry website.

    However, in the title register I downloaded off LR, it states under Charges Register that:

    "The land in this title is subject to a perpetual yearly rentcharge of £2 created by a Conveyance of the land in this title dated XX January 193X made between (1) XXXXXXXX, XXXXXX and XXXXXX (Vendors) and (2) XXXXXXXX (Purchaser).
    The said Deed also contains covenants.
    NOTE: original filed"

    Also, in the Property Register it states:

    " 3 The land has the benefit of the rights granted by but is subject to the rights reserved by the Conveyance dated XX January 193X referred to in the Charges Register."
    4 The Conveyance dated XX January 193X referred to in the Charges Register contains provisions as to light or air and boundary structures."

    And in the Proprietorship Register it states:

    "3 The Transfer to the proprietor contains a covenant to observe and perform the covenants referred to in the Charges Register and of indemnity in respect thereof."

    I have spoken to the estate agent and vendor and they have said the owner does not know about this charge and has never ever paid it. Her solicitor said they don't know who owns it and they would have to take out indemnity insurance. She owned the property for over 13 years.

    This therefore raises some questions for me as I don't want to get involved in a legal nightmare:
    1. Will I as the new potential owner have to take out indemnity insurance to protect against this unpaid rentcharge?
    2. If I do have to take out indemnity insurance, what will it still not likely cover? Are there risks above this?
    3. Can the rentcharge be abolished/redeemed/adversely possessed prior to the sale somehow even though they do not know who owns it and the person may have died (the title register does list the persons who owned it in 1930s, and the original purchaser is named the same as the original vendor?).
    4. How would I (or a solicitor) find out who owns it and if they are still alive?
    5. If the rentcharge owner appears, what are the likely ramifications? Will they likely demand the unpaid rentcharge arrears (less than £50.00) or more likely will they try and create a lease (to void the freehold in effect)? If they create the lease are we talking thousands of pounds in legal fees to resolve the problem?
    6. Can a rentcharge be sold to another person/company?
    7. Can the rentcharge be increased?
    8. Does the covenants mentioned in the Property and Proprietorship Register above mean there are potentially some form of restrictions (similar to restrictive covenants) that are still present now from the original 1930s deeds? It states they are filed, but why are they not shown in this register and what are they likely to be?
    Any advice appreciated?

    I don't want to be a victim of this:

    Does this info help ?


      normally what would happen in real life is that the vendor would pay the purchaser at completion six full years of the rent charge (ie the max under statute of limitations) so that if someone materialised demanding their back rent the purchaser would not be out of pocket for the charge unpaid during the previous owners tenure. Its not worth insuring for such a tiny potential liability in my view


        Certain types of rentcharge are redeemable under the Rentcharges Act 1977. This means that you pay a single lump sum and after that no longer have to pay the rentcharge.

        If you decide to apply to redeem your rentcharge under the Rentcharges Act 1977:
        1. Download the application form below, fill it in and sign it. Return the form to: Rentcharges Unit, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Ground Floor, Rosebrae Court, Woodside Ferry Approach, Birkenhead, Merseyside, CH41 6DU.
        2. When you send the form, include a copy of the deed that created the rentcharge and a copy of the HM Land Registry register (if the property is registered). See an example of a HM Land Registry register.
        3. The rentcharges team will contact the person you name as the rentowner and ask them to confirm ownership.
        4. Once they have confirmed, the rentcharges team will tell you how much money you have to pay the rentowner to redeem the rentcharge. If the rentowner doesn’t confirm ownership, the rentcharges team will advise you what to do.
        5. You send payment to the rentowner. Ask for the receipted form to be sent back to you.
        6. Once you get the form back, send it to the rentcharges team.
        7. They will then send you a certificate of redemption.


          The filed copy of the conveyance from 1930 will cost £7 when an application form is completed and sent to Land Registry asking for an official copy..
          That will provide the necessary information about what restrictive covenants were imposed and the land that has the benefit of such covenants.

          As for the rent charge of £2 a year, deduct your current age from the average age of a person and multiple that length of time by 2.
          Then deposit the same amount into a bank account to cover the rent charge for the remainder of your life, which I assume will be less than £100 provided that you remain living in the house until your death in 50 years time.

          The first question that sprang to mind when I started reading this post was "Why is this guy bothering about this small sum of money?"


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