Abbey National Building Society v Cann [1991] 1 AC 56

Land Law feature, Abbey National Building Society v Cann [1991] 1 AC 56, Land registration

Abbey National Building Society v Cann [1991] 1 AC 56 is a Land Law case concerning Land Registration.

Facts:

In Abbey National Building Society v Cann [1991] 1 AC 56, registered land was bought with an advance from the plaintiff. Furthermore, the transfer and charge were registered one month later, but in the meantime, the buyer’s parents moved in. However, when the buyer defaulted, his mother resisted possession proceedings. She said that she had an overriding interest through her occupation at the time when the charge was registered.

Held:

In conclusion, the mother’s plea failed. When land is purchased using a mortgage, the charge takes effect immediately. Moreover, there is no intermediate stage at which the purchaser owns the land free of the charge.

Furthermore, actual occupation can be through an agent. Moreover, it involves ‘some degree of permanence and continuity’ which rules out a fleeting presence. The claimant who is temporarily absent will also need to show that there is an intention to return to the property.

Lord Oliver said in Abbey National Building Society v Cann [1991] 1 AC 56:

‘the relevant date for determining the existence of overriding interests which will ‘affect the estate transferred or created’ is the date of registration. 

Keywords:

Land law, Land Registration, Property, Trust, Register, Interest, Equity, Legal, Estate, Overriding Interests, Charge, Possession Proceedings.

Approved: Lloyds Bank plc v Rosset [1990] UKHL 14

References: [1990] 1 All ER 1085, [1991] 1 AC 56, [1990] UKHL 3

Read our notes and our cases on Land Registration for more information.