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Land Tribunal Summary Note

The Land Registry (“LR”) and the First Tier Lands Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) resolves a number of property related disputes. 


When an application is made to the LR the Responding Party has a period of 28 days in which to respond.  A Respondent can either consent or object to the application.  If the Respondent consents the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the application.  However, if the application is opposed the disputed case will proceed through the LR channels as set out below. 


Once an objection is lodged the LR cannot dispose of the application until the objection is either withdrawn or disposed of.  Similarly the Applicant will have to consider whether it wants to proceed with its case or withdraw the application. 


If the Applicant proceeds and the Respondent continues to object both parties will be embarking on a process which could lead to the case being transferred to the Tribunal or Court if the LR feels that it cannot deal with the application itself.  It should be noted that the Applicant can withdraw its application or the Respondent can withdraw its objection at any time up to the point that the matter is referred to the Tribunal


If the Applicant proceeds and the Respondent continues to object the parties will be given the opportunity to try and negotiate a settlement and/or at least narrow the issues in dispute.  The parties are encouraged to try and negotiate the case and avoid the need for the case being transferred to the Tribunal and/or Court.  If the parties agree to negotiate they will be given a period of approximately 6 months to try and resolve the matter.  The LR will, however, write to the parties after the first 3 months to seek confirmation that negotiations are continuing.  If a party refuses to negotiate or the negotiations break down the LR will have no option but to refer the case to the Tribunal.  Towards the end of the negotiating period (usually 5 months) the LR will write to the parties again and ask whether a settlement has been reached.  If not , the LR will prepare the case for referral to the Tribunal.  The LR will not grant an extension beyond the 6 month period.  In other words if the parties wish to continue their negotiations and the 6 month period is coming to an end the negotiations must continue alongside the formal process.


Prior to the case being transferred the LR will send the parties a Case Summary.  Its purpose is to set out the parties involved in the dispute, to provide the Tribunal with the factual information about the application & objection and for the Tribunal to assess whether it can hear the matter itself or whether one of the parties (usually the Applicant) should instigate Court proceedings.


Once the case is transferred the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Rules 2013 will apply.  From then on a formal process will begin and costs consequences shall apply.  The Tribunal has the power to make an order for costs against either party and this can include the costs incurred prior to the matter being transferred.  


When the Tribunal receives the LR’s referral it will provide the parties with directions to serve Statements of Case.  The Applicant is usually given 28 days from the Tribunal’s initial correspondence and the Respondent is given 28 days thereafter.  The Statement of Case should identify the party, the facts it seeks to rely on, a list of the documents relied on, copies of those documents and a signed statement of truth.   Following receipt of the Statements of Case the Tribunal will give further directions in terms of the disclosure of further documents and the exchange of witness statements.


The Tribunal cannot order the sale of a property, order a payment of money (other than the costs of the proceedings) or deal with disputes over goods.


As set out above the parties are encouraged to ty and resolve the dispute.  In the circumstances the Tribunal will offer the parties to engage in its Land Registration Division Mediation Scheme which is free of charge.  If the parties agree then the directions/ timetable as set out by the Tribunal will be placed on hold.

Added: 08 Feb 2018 10:24

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