Easements – half a million easements expected to be removed from the land register
On 1 July 2013, the Renewal Act (Sw. Lag (2013:488) om förnyelse av vissa inskrivningar i fastighetsregistret) entered into force. The law stipulates that registrations of easements, usufruct and other contractual rights of use will be removed from the land register after 31 December 2018, unless renewed. As a result, the Swedish Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authority (Sw. Lantmäteriet) is now working intensely to remove all easements that are no longer in use from the land register. The authority predicts that about half a million easements will be removed by the end of 2018.
Usufruct rights often have a maximum term of 25 years, whereas easements usually are valid for an unlimited time. Even so, all registrations of easements made before 1 July 1968, have to be renewed. Official easements, however, are not affected by the change and, therefore, there is no need to renew them. The same applies to registrations of leaseholds, hydropower and water regulations.
The process of renewal is supposedly easy and does not cost anything. The only information that needs to be disclosed in the request is the registration that is to be renewed and its property unit designation (Sw. fastighetsbeteckning). A renewal of a registration will have no effect if the agreement has already expired.
If a registration is removed from the land register it does not mean that the right of use becomes invalid. However, the registration can have importance in case of a change of ownership of the real property or if the real property becomes involved in a cadastral procedure (Sw. lantmäteriförrättning). Further, the registration can provide some protection against other actions such as land-use planning, construction of new roads, etc. If a registration is not renewed the owner of the right has the possibility to request a new registration. The Swedish Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authority will then check that the agreement is valid.
The removal of old and inaccurate registrations will save time and money when selling real property since unnecessary questions about misleading information can be avoided. Further, the land register will be more reliable and provide a better overview.
Even though the right will not become invalid if the registration is not renewed, it is important to renew it. If real property is sold and the seller forgets to inform the buyer of the easement, the buyer can claim ”good faith” (Sw. god tro) in relation to the holder of the easement which will result in the easement being cancelled. If the registration is renewed, however, the buyer will be deemed to have been informed and is prohibited from taking actions for the cancellation of the easement.
Stockholm, 26 February 2016
ADVOKATFIRMAN TÖRNGREN MAGNELL KB