land charge

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An interest in unregistered land that imposes an obligation on the landowner in favour of some other person (the chargee). If validly created and registered where appropriate under the Land Charges Act 1972 at the Land Charges Department (see registration of encumbrances), land charges will normally bind purchasers of the land. Important examples of land charges created by act of the parties include mortgages not protected by deposit of title deeds, binding contracts for sale (including options and rights of pre-emption), restrictive covenants that affect freehold land, and equitable easements. Some land charges arise under statute: for example, a spouse's right to occupy the matrimonial home under part VI of the Family Law Act 1996 (a Class F land charge) and the Revenue charge for unpaid inheritance tax (a Class D land charge). Local land charges, which arise in favour of local authorities from the exercise of their statutory powers, are registered by the local authority itself and apply to registered land as well as to unregistered land.

Subjects: Law.

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