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   Home      Oak Co-operative Building Society v Blackburn

Oak Co-operative Building Society v Blackburn [1968] Ch 730  Court of Appeal
Francis David Blackburn was an estate agent and the legal owner of a house which was conveyed in that name. He was, however generally known and did business in the name of Frank rather than Francis. He agreed to sell the house to the appellant, the purchase price to be payable by installments over 15 years. The appellant registered the estate contract as a land charge in the name of Frank David Blackburn.  Frank subsequently mortgaged the house to the building society who undertook an official search in the register against the name of Francis Davis Blackburn; making a mistake with regards to the middle name.
The Land charge was protected despite being registered in the wrong name.
Russell LJ:

    "But if there be registration in what may be fairly described as a version of the full names of the vendor, albeit not a version which is bound to be discovered on a search in the correct full names, we would not hold it a nullity against someone who does not search at all, or who (as here) searches in the wrong name.

    There is one objection to this approach, and that is that provision is made for personal as distinct from official search: a personal searcher in the full correct name in the present case would, it seems, not have encountered the registration in the present case: he would not have had the benefit of an official certificate under section 17 (3) and on the contrary would have been affected by a deemed actual notice of the estate contract under section 198 of the Law of Property Act, 1925. But we think that anyone who nowadays is foolish enough to search personally deserves what he gets: and if the aim of the statute is to arrive at a sensible working system that aim is better furthered by upholding a registration such as this than by protecting a personal searcher from his folly."


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