Prescribed authorities

'Prescribed Authorities' are government, semi government and corporate bodies authorised under any Act with the power to act as the dominant tenement of an easement, positive covenant or restriction on the use of land. Authorisation for any body benefited by a profit à prendre is not required as no dominant tenement is created.

For a corporation to have the power to effect transactions under sections 88A, 88D or 88E Conveyancing Act 1919, they must be specifically prescribed by the Conveyancing (General) Regulation 2013 or fall within the definition of a public or local authority as prescribed by an Act. Clauses 49, 50 and 51 Conveyancing (General) Regulation 2013 set out lists of some of the current authorities prescribed under sections 88A, 88D and 88E Conveyancing Act respectively.

Prescribed authorities include

  • the Crown
  • a public or local authority constituted by an Act, or
  • a corporation prescribed for the purpose of this section.

And are described in the Conveyancing Act 1919 under:

  • Sec 88A Easements in Gross (where the dominant tenement is a prescribed authority and the servient tenement is held by anyone, including a prescribed authority) and
  • Sec 88D Restriction on use of land or public positive covenants OVER land held by a prescribed authority and
  • Sec 88E Restriction on use of land or public positive covenants OVER land held by persons other than a prescribed authority.

It is important to note that the term 'Prescribed Authority' only applies to these sections. That is, it does not apply to other sections of the Act, or to any other Acts. Furthermore, there are different prescribed corporations for each of sections 88A, 88D and 88E. A corporation prescribed under one section is not automatically prescribed under the other sections.

The Crown and public or local authorities continuously create corporations for administrative purposes with no onus on those bodies to provide Land and Property Information with the relevant advice.

Consent of a prescribed authority on a plan and/or s.88B Instrument

A plan or Section 88B Instrument over land owned by a prescribed authority must be signed by an authorised officer of the authority in the panel on the administration sheet and the last page of the Instrument.

Where an authority is nominated as the dominant tenement in a Section 88B instrument, the instrument must be signed by an authorised officer of the authority. The authority must be listed as a 'prescribed authority' under Sections 88A, 88D or 88E Conveyancing Act 1919 (depending on which section is applicable). The name of the authority must be identical to the one listed. Any form of abbreviation is not acceptable.

If a corporation is not listed under the relevant Section, the lodging party of the plan and instrument must provide evidence the corporation is empowered to act under the relevant section.

Note  Any plan or dealing affecting land standing in the name of the Sovereign (Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second etc) on behalf of a responsible Minister must be signed by a delegate of the Minister in the format:

'Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second (Minsiter for Police and Emergency Services)'.