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Sources: Dixon, M (modern land law) 8th edition, Routledge

Chapter 1: Introduction to Modern Land Law


A. The Nature and Scope of the Law of Real Property
Definition of Land 1.S205(1) (ix) of the Law of Property Act 1925 2.Land law is the study of the creation, transfer and termination of these rights and the manner in which they affect the use and enjoyment of the physical asset. Proprietary Rights 1.An interest in Land a) Definition of An interest in land National Provincial Bank v Ainsworth (1965) o Background In this case, the essential point was whether a wifes right to live in the former matrimonial home could be regarded as a proprietary given that she did not actually own a share of the property. If it could, the right might bund a third party such as the National Provincial Bank which had mortgage over the land and whose claim to possession might be defeated if a proprietary right existed. If, however, the right was purely personal ( that is, enforceable by the wife only against the husband personally-it could never bind the land and the bank is mortgage would necessarily take priority.) o Held The wifes right could only ever be personal (Assuming she had no actual share of ownership) o Lord Wilberforce stated that:Before a right or an interest can be admitted into the category of property, or of a right affecting property, it must be definable, identifiable by 3rd parties, capable in tis nature of assumption by 3rd parties, and have some degree of permanence or stability. b) The right to use the land, it must satisfy 4-fold test:o Definable o Identifiable by 3rd parties o Capable in its nature of assumption by 3rd parties o Some degree of permanence or stability (4-fold test adopted as per Lord Wilberforce in National Provincial Bank v Ainsworth [1965])

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Sources: Dixon, M (modern land law) 8th edition, Routledge

c) An interest in land may be used to denote those proprietary rights that one person enjoy in land of another. Examples:o An easement; o A mortgage; o A restrictive covenant; o And more and others. 2.An estate in Land a) Those proprietary rights in land that give the holder the equivalent of a right of ownership for a defined period of time. b) The fee simple or freehold estate (the fee simple absolute in possession) o Freehold comprises the right to use and enjoy the land for the duration of the life of the grantee and that of his heirs and successors. o Freely transferable (alienable) during the life of the estate owner (i.e. by gift or sale), or on his death (i.e. by will or under the rules of intestate succession when there is no will.) o Permanent ownership of the land by the person who is currently the estate owner. o The time nature of the fee simple is revealed and the land will revert to the crown as ultimate absolute owner. o Fee simple may be legal or equitable. c) The leasehold estate (terms of years absolute) o The leasehold estate comprises a right to use and enjoy the land exclusively as owner for a stated period of time. o It may be legal or equitable. d) The fee tail o The fee tail is an interest permitting its owner the use of land for the duration of his life and that of his lineal descendants (who can show a parental, grandparental, great-grandparental and so on link to the person who was originally granted the fee tail). e) The life interest (life estate) o Gives the holder the right to use and enjoy the land for the duration of his life. o On death, life interest comes to an end and the land reverts to the superior estate owner (who is long lease holder or fee simple owner) o It only exist as equitable interest.

B. The Legal or Equitable Quality of Proprietary Rights


When is a proprietary right in legal in practice? 1.A proprietary must have been created by deed. a) S1 of the LPA (miscellaneous Provision) Act 1989, an instrument is not a deed unless it is expressed to be a deed on its face or by the person signing it, it is
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Sources: Dixon, M (modern land law) 8th edition, Routledge

executed as a deed and is witnessed by some person other than the persons who are parties to it. 2.In addition to the use of a deed, certain potential legal estate and interests must laos be registed in the manner required by the Land Registration Act 2002. a) S7 and 27(1) LRA 2002 o Failure to register Render the relevant estate or interest equitable even if created or transferred by deed. When is a proprietary right in equitable in practice? 1.A proprietary right has the potential to be equitable for any one of 3 reasons:a) It may be excluded ab initio from the definition of a legal estate or interest found in S1 of the LPA 1925. b) Despite being within S1, no deed may have been used where such is required c) Despite being within S1 and the use of deed, registration may not have occurred, where required. rd 3 way for equitable and legal rights is where enjoyment of the land is regulated by use of the trust. Legal Owner (trustee), A -----------------------------Equitable Owner (Beneficiaries),B *Land, or rights in land are held by A on trust for B.

C. The Consequences of the Distinction between Legal and Equitable Propriety Rights
Distinction (Rights before the 1925 legislation) Legal Equitable It would always bind every transferee or If would bind every transferee of land owner of the land over which it existed. except a bona fide purchase for value of a legal estate in the land ho had no notice of the equitable right, An existing equitable right over land would be binding on a transferee of that land in all the following cases: 1. Gift or adverse possession (squatting) Transferee of the land would easily fulfill 2. Equitable leases these 3 rules of the bona fide purchaser rule 3. He was not a bona fide and acted in to be escaped by Doctrine of notice and bad faith. disputing- transferee will get the land. 4. Transferee had notice of equitable rights. Actual notice Constructive notice
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Sources: Dixon, M (modern land law) 8th edition, Routledge

Hunt v Luck (1902) Kingsnorth v Tizard(1986) Imputed notice Actual or imputed notice) E.g. transferres agent or solicitor. *notice 1. Received- transferee bound by it 2. Lack of Notice- transferee not bound by it. Conclusion:In short, the operation of the doctrine of notice was so uncertain that the 1925 property legislation modified the rule in a radical way and thereby substantially reduced the importance of legal or equitable distinction.

D. The 1925 Property Legislation and the Land Registration Act 2002
The Law of Property Act 1925 1.Redefined what right could be a) Legal b) Equitable 2.Parts of amendment a) Joint ownership of land b) The creation of proprietary right c) The nature of o The fee simple o The leasehold estates d) Much more The Settled Land Act 1925 1.A complicated statute which designed to regulate the creation and operation of successive in land. Example:

(for life)

(for life)

- absolutely

The Land Registration Act 1925 and the Land Registration Act 2002 1.The LRA 2002 a) Came into force on 13 Oct 2003 b) LRA 1925 is no more c) Not all of the provisions of the new legislation are in force yet such as S93 and electronic conveyancing. The Land Charges Act 1972 1.Original: Land Charges Act 1925
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Sources: Dixon, M (modern land law) 8th edition, Routledge

2.It establishes a system to regulate the transfer of land and is also designed to bring certainty to dealings with land affected by the proprietary rights of other people, particularly of those rights are equitable. 3.Only concerned with unregistered Land

E. The distinction between Registered and Unregistered Land


Land
Registered mutually exclusive Unregistered Governed by Governed by 1. LPA 1925 1. LPA 1925 2. COMMON LAW 2. COMMON LAW 3. LRA 2002 3. LCA 1972 Over 85% land is registered ( some are Unregistered land: in process) 1. Title is not registered 2. Legal rights bind the whole world Registered land: pre- 1926 1. Land to which the title is registered in a register LCA 1972 1. Doctrine of Notice Registered charge + 1. Right in registered land as (legal Does not fall within the statutory mortgages used to raise money definition of land charges for the estate owner by offering the land as security for a loan) Some doctrine of notice relevant in Operation of the LRA 2002 modern land law (unregistered interests which override/ Overreachable overriding interests) 1. Equitable owner may be required to 1. Auto binding on any transferee or take the monetary value of the right occupier of the land, without the rather than enjoy the right over the need for any land of registration. land itself. Under Schedule 1, 3 LRA 2002 It do not comprises legal right It comprises number of equitable rights Protectable registrable interest 1. It only binds a purchaser of the land if they are registered against the title that they affect. (Registration by means of NOTICE!) If they are not so registered, they have no priority against a purchaser of the affected land, meaning that they cannot be enforced against him.
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All rights reserve Kay Lee

Sources: Dixon, M (modern land law) 8th edition, Routledge

*Under LRA 2002, Doctrine of Notice is irrelevant! *The concept of overreaching may allow a purchaser of registered land to defeat certain equitable rights, even if they appear capable of being overriding or their registration has been attempted.

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