Kling v Keston Properties Ltd [1985]

Kling v Keston Properties Ltd [1985] 49 P & CR 212 is an English land law case concerning actual occupation in registered land. The central legal question revolved around whether the act of parking a car in the garage constituted actual occupation, particularly in the context of an overriding interest.

Mr Kling initially held a licence for a garage in Chelsea. He later exercised a right of pre-emption, acquiring a long lease of the garage from the licensor, who was the landowner. Mr Kling routinely parked his car in the garage, keeping it there overnight and for most of the day. The new owner of Keston's interest was unaware of Mr Kling's parking activities and noted that he had not promptly registered his lease at the Land Registry or filed a priority search against their title to indicate a pending new lease.

The judge ruled that the act of parking the car in the lock-up garage could indeed amount to actual occupation, establishing an overriding interest. Mr Kling's overriding interest derived from his proprietary right in leasing the garage and maintaining a lawful licensee status. The court emphasised that the use of the garage for parking constituted actual occupation, providing protection to Mr Kling's right as an overriding interest under Section 70(1) of the Land Registration Act 1925. The court rejected a submission based on Section 59 of the Land Registration Act 1925.

While this case was significant in its time, its legal principles have been further reinforced by subsequent statutory developments. The Land Registration Act 2002, Schedule 3, officially recognises lawful, actual occupation as an overriding proprietary interest. This statutory change, effective from October 13, 2003, solidifies the evolution of the law to encompass uses such as parking cars or motorcycles in domestic garages as constituting occupation.
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