Simon Hill successful in Registration of Property Ownership Case

Author: Reporter
In: News Published: Wednesday 04 March 2020


Simon Hill successfully represented an applicant in a 2 day trial in the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)(Land Registration Division) in Krawczynska v Rozuk [2020] Lexis Citation 61; [2020] All ER (D) 96 (Feb); [2020] 1 WLUK 473, before Judge McAllister. The case involved: (i) a complex question as to the First-Tier Tribunal's jurisdiction to determine the quantum (as distinct from the existence) of a claimed beneficial interest; and (ii) whether the applicant had a beneficial interest in a property registered under the sole name of the respondent. 

Judge McAllister found that the applicant did hold a beneficial interest in the property, and acknowledged that the First-Tier Tribunal's jurisdiction did not extend to determining the quantum of that beneficial interest. 

On the jurisdiction issue, Judge McAllister said, at paragraphs 15 to 20:

‘The issue of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction in cases where the application is for a restriction based on a claimed beneficial interest has been considered recently in two decisions. 

The Tribunal’s primary jurisdiction is to determine matters referred to it under section 73(7) of the Land Registration Act 2002. In a number of authorities the courts have held that ‘the matter’ is the substantive issue between the parties (see Jayasinghe v Liyanage [2010] 1 WLR 2106 and Silkstone v Tatnall [2012] 1 WLR 400). 

A more restrictive view has recently been taken in relation to beneficial interest cases. In Hallman v Harkins [2019] UKUT 245 Martin Rodger QC held that the Tribunal’s statutory jurisdiction is restricted to disposing of the application for a restriction. Once it is established that the applicant has some beneficial interest, it makes no difference to the disposal of the application what the extent of the interest is. At paragraph 74 of his decision he stated that: ‘Where an obligation to a restriction cannot be disposed of by agreement section 73(7) requires that the registrar must refer the matter to the FTT. The issue for the FTT is the same as for the Registrar, namely whether in light of the objection it is necessary or desirable to enter the restriction for any of the purposes mentioned in section 42(1). Again, no question of quantification necessarily arises in the determination of that question’.

This decision was cited, with apparent approval, in Wolloff v Patel [2019] UKUT 333. 

There will, of course, be many cases where the Tribunal can readily determine whether or not a beneficial interest has been established with the need to determine the amount. There will also be cases where, in order to determine whether or not an interest arises, the Tribunal will need to make specific findings of fact as to the intention of the parties and the contributions made by them. In such a case the questions of quantification ‘necessarily’ arises. 

It also follows, in my judgment, that where such findings are made the parties will be bound by them: the findings are necessary to the result of the proceedings. Or to put it another way, they are ‘ultimate findings’ and not ‘evidentiary findings’ (Inhenagwa v Onyeneho [2017] EWHC 1971).’

The full judgment in Krawczynska v Rozuk [2020] Lexis Citation 61; [2020] All ER (D) 96 (Feb); [2020] 1 WLUK 473, handed down on 30.1.20, can be read here.

Simon Hill instructed by Hillingdon Law Centre.