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Manorial Rights And Your Property

View profile for Ian Fudge
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The title of the Lord of the Manor may create visions of Downton finery or to others a self-claimed badge of hard man honour, but as a string of UK homeowners are finding out the Lord of their Manor may be just around the corner.

As around 700 homeowners in the Parish of Dewisland in West Wales have recently found out, a change in land rights - which can be traced as far back as William the Conqueror’s arrival on English shores in 1066 – has brought about a string of ‘Lord of the Manors’ emerging to stake their claim on their land.

Now homeowners who have received notification from the Land Registry of a claim on their property are left scratching their heads at the prospect of their gardens being used for hunting, mining for minerals, or holding fairs.

The homeowners in Dewisland - which covers an area throughout St David’s and Solva - are not alone, as over 4,000 homes in Anglesey built on land of the Lordship of the Manor of Treffos have also faced notification from the Land Registry of the Lord’s registered rights.

While homeowners in the Cornish village of Stoke Climsland, situated on the Duchy of Cornwall’s estate, were taken aback by the recent registration of rights enforced by the Prince of Wales.

Until recently rights that were retained by the Lord of the Manor when the land became freehold, otherwise known as Manorial Rights, did not have to be registered but as of the 13th October 2013 rights had to be registered or they would be lost when the land was next sold. And so the floodgates have opened.

But homeowners need not fear that they are about to step back into medieval times. The idea of Manorial Rights is one that is completely alien to many people nowadays, as how can a property in the middle of a built up residential area purchased with freehold be party to a claim for someone to mine for minerals or to hold a fair on your land?

Like many areas of law there are these instances that occur every so often which reflect how deeply steeped in history many of our laws are.  However, homeowners really shouldn’t be overly concerned as filing the appropriate UN4 form with Land Registry, will lodge your dispute to the claim.

I would advise any concerned residents who have received a notification to contact Land Registry or to seek legal advice on the matter, but rest assured there are simple measures that can be taken to protect your property and land.

Ian Fudge is a Partner and specialises in resolving disputes and problems involving Private and Business Clients and Agricultural legal affairs. Ian works with small businesses, farming clients and individuals in the local community and further afield.  Ian is a well respected practitioner in the Pembrokeshire area and with over 30 years’ experience, Ian has conducted many leading cases in the county.

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