Time would start running when someone took exclusive possession of land, or part of it, and intended to possess it adversely to the interests of the current owner. Unlike a contract or gift, which depend on consent, or resulting and constructive trusts that depend primarily on the fact of contribution, a proprietary estoppel arises when a person has been given a clear assurance, it was reasonable of them to rely on the assurance, and they have acted to their detriment. If land is traded, their interests will be considered "overreached", or effectively bought out over their heads with their interest detached from the land and reattached to purchase money, if money is paid to at least two trustees.  This provoked a constitutional crisis, as the hereditary House of Lords vetoed it, forcing fresh elections. A difficult issue, however, in awarding a remedy for estoppel is that unlike a contract it is not always apparent that a claimant should receive the full measure of what they had expected. When it comes to a sale, Law of Property Act 1925 sections 101 and 103 require that the provision for sale must have been in the mortgage deed, that three months notice and space must be given. The technical definition of "land" encompasses slightly more than in the word's common use. First, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 codified a system of licensing for mortgage lenders. The second main way to acquire rights in land is through resulting or constructive trust, recognised by the court. In the case of a person who dies without leaving a will, their property, including land will succeed in passing by operation of law to the next of kin, or in the case of jointly owned property in a joint tenancy, to the co-owner/s. In private accommodation, new rights were enacted for tenants against their landlords, with some security of tenure and rent regulation, a break on unfettered "freedom of contract". Third, the courts acknowledge people have acquired land when they have been given an assurance, on which they have reasonably placed reliance, and the result would be detrimental if their interests were not recognised.  Its proponents argued that a registration system would increase land's marketability, and make its transfer as fluid as the registration system of company shares. If possible, and as damages will often be inadequate, the courts show preference for awarding specific performance. Moreover, the primacy of equity over the common law was reasserted, supported by King James I in 1615, in the Earl of Oxford's case. The first registered interest in time prevails. People with personal rights, such as to the performance of a contract, are presumptively entitled to money in compensation, unless damages would be an inadequate remedy. However, under section 171B, if someone has breached a planning rule, but no enforcement proceedings are brought within four years, there can be no charge: the landowner becomes immune. Historically, compulsory purchases were carried out under the Inclosure Acts and their predecessors, where enclosure of common land was frequently a method of expropriating people from common land for the benefit of barons and landlords. In plain English, ‘land’ means This reflects its historical origins. HM Cassidy, 'The Emergence of the Free Labor Contract in England' (1928) 18(2) American Economic Review 201, 207–208.  The two dimensional area of land surface, bounded by a fence, is complemented by rights over all buildings and "fixtures". When co-owners fall into disagreement over how land is to be used, the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 guides who can live in the property or when it can be sold. Nevertheless, if a court did acknowledge a spouse's contribution to the home, it could "inflate" the interest to whatever size possible (as under the 1970 and 1973 Acts). Trespass to land occurs when a person intentionally enters someone else’s property without permission.  Here two parents, Mr and Mrs Flegg, had given their home to their children, who in turn mortgaged the property and defaulted on the loan. Entail, also called fee tail, in feudal English law, an interest in land bound up inalienably in the grantee and then forever to his direct descendants. Because of property's social importance, either for personal consumption and use or for mass production, compulsory purchase laws have met with human rights challenges. Under this act, as set out in section 1, there can only be two types of legal ‘estates’ in land: (1) The only estates in land which are capable of subsisting or of being conveyed or created at law are—. This protection was seen as necessary because of the inequality of bargaining power that tenants have.. For instance, projecting eaves or advertising signs, and tower cranes being used for construction work on neighbouring land but which swing across your airspace. If a person or a business has gone insolvent, and has things in their possession which are the property of others', then those people can usually take back their property free of anyone else's claims. you say – no I … The law closely regulates the circumstances under which each may sever or sell their share. This was not always true, because from the Magna Carta 1215, and the subsequent development of the Charter of the Forest ("forest" being an old term for crown land) there was a significant body of law regarding the use of the commons: the public land that common folk could use for gathering food, wood, hunting, or herding. Objects resting on the ground and "attached" only by gravity will not normally be part of the land, although it could be that the parties "intended" something different, or rather what the parties' reasonable expectations were. The main situations where this distinction matters are if a debtor to two or more creditors has gone insolvent (i.e. Although the purchaser had actual notice of Geoffrey's equitable interest, it did not matter because it was not registered. While the typical content of "land law" texts in England or the United Kingdom concerns the content, creation and protection of interests in property in land, the practical and social significance of land extends to the way it is used. In 2013, because registration of title was never made compulsory per se, 18 per cent of land in England and Wales remained unregistered. In the most famous case, Tulk v Moxhay the owner of what is now Leicester Square promised a neighbour he would not erect buildings, but the subsequent purchaser (who knew of this deal) tried to build. might seem overly simplistic but in a legal context comprises a range of factors. Under Schedule 3, paragraph 1, any lease that is less than seven years need not be registered, and will still bind other parties. This meant that the bank was entitled to repossess the home, following a default on Mr Rosset's mortgage loan, free from her interest in actual occupation. Easily removable things, like carpets and curtains, or houseboats, will not be land, but less easily removed things, like taps and plugs are. In Holland v Hodgson Blackburn J held that looms installed in a factory formed part of the land. However a good starting point is the partial definition of “land” in the Law of Property Act 1925 (LPA 1925 ) S.205 (1) (ix) ; “Land includes any of tenure , and mines and minerals, whether or not held apart from the surface , buildings or parts of buildings (whether the division is horizontal , … This meant that because she had contributed to the home's purchase price, she was entitled to stay. The Land Transfer Act 1875 introduced a voluntary system, but it was not taken up.  Compensation is often also available for losses to a home, or if one's business has to move. At its core, English land law involves the acquisition, content and priority of rights and obligations among people with interests in land. The case law primarily deals with the conditions under which a tenant's share will be severed to create a "tenancy in common", where there is no right to survivorship, and then under what conditions a tenant in common may require the property be sold to realise its value.  Fourth, under the Limitation Act 1980 sections 29 and 30, the adverse possessor must not have acknowledged the title of the owner in any express way, or the clock starts running again.  Furthermore, in Kernott v Jones, Ms Jones and Mr Kernott had had two children and were both on the registered title. Lord Cottenham LC held that a prior covenant may bind future owners if the covenant touched and concerned the land, the original covenantees intended the covenant to bind future owners, and the future owners with the same land had notice of the covenant. Most of the time, property rights are also stronger than personal because English courts have been historically more willing to order specific performance as a remedy for interference with property rights. Section 88 confirms that a buyer after a sale receives an unencumbered title. Mr Gissing had paid mortgage instalments and the property was in his name, although Mrs Gissing had made some home improvements. Aside from sale contracts, people may acquire interests in land through contributions to a home's purchase price, or to family life, if the courts can find evidence of a common intention that this should happen. Today, the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 contains the basic planning rules. In 1970, in Pettitt v Pettitt, Lord Diplock remarked that "the wider employment of married women in industry, commerce and the professions and the emergence of a property-owning, particularly a real-property-mortgaged-to-a-building-society-owning, democracy" had compelled courts to acknowledge contributions to the home and family life as potentially generating proprietary interests. Statutes and case law regulated the types of activity the people could perform, and the extent to which they could use common property. The law in relation to Common land is largely governed by the Commons Act 2006. This guaranteed rights of representation to the barons, but contained very little for "commoners". This proprietary estoppel claim is a way for people's interests to gain recognition although their dealing's with a land owner have fallen short of contract. Easements and covenants, although treated separately by law, both functioned as primitive forms of planning device. In opposition to the civil or Roman law. By the early 18th century, the use had formalised into a trust: where land was settled to be held by a trustee, for the benefit of another, the Courts of Chancery recognised the beneficiary as the true owner in equity. In R (Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd) v Wolverhampton CC the Supreme Court held that Wolverhampton City Council acted for an improper purpose when it took into account a promise by Tesco to redevelop another site, in determining whether to make a compulsory purchase order over a site possessed by Sainsbury's. However, the law recognises people's interests in land even though they have not been acquired in a formal way. There are a few exceptions to this rule; for instance, under section 9 of the Coal Industry Act 1994, coal belongs to the Coal Authority. Where the water runs through a known channel, the owner of the land and channel in which the water has flown has certain rights. Unlike the common law judges, the Chancellor held the cestui que use, the owner in equity, could be a different person, if this is what good conscience dictated. The Crown is also entitled to all gold and silver found in gold and silver mines on or beneath anyone’s property. In the case of an ordinary gift during a person's life, the Law of Property Act 1925 section 52(1) requires a deed (itself defined in the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 section 1) before any transfer is effective. For example, in Hurst v Picture Theatres Ltd, Mr Hurst was removed from a High Street Kensington theatre by a manager who honestly believed that he had not paid for his ticket. Before 2002, time was seen to cure everything. It inserted in the Insolvency Act 1986 new sections 283A and 335A, which say that at the point of bankruptcy, the decision to order a sale should be guided by (a) the interests of the bankrupt's creditors, (b) the spouse's conduct, their resources, the children's needs, and any other need, except for the bankrupt's own.  However the main limitation remains that the 2002 legislation appears to have emasculated the principle of adverse possession, because the Registrar now effectively informs owners of the steps to be taken to stop adverse possession in its tracks. In addition, Common land can provide important habitat for protected birds, wildlife and plants and many commons are enjoyed for their leisure and environmental interests. Mrs Mountford paid a "licence fee" for her home, and had signed a form agreeing that the statute protecting leases from unfair rent rises (the Rent Act 1977) did not apply. Part I Preliminary 1 Short title; commencement; extent (1) This Act may be cited as the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act, 1881. Only if a transaction identified in the Land Registration Act 2002 section 4 took place, as under the LRA 1925, would the land be compulsorily entered on the register. The Law of Property Acts, which aimed to improve land's transferability on the market, required that land could have a maximum of four co-owners, who must all have the same title. Despite Templeman J at first instance saying Mrs Boland only occupied the house through her husband, the Court of Appeal, and the House of Lords both agreed that Mrs Boland actually did occupy her home, and that her interest bound the bank. Finally, applications to the Land Tribunal may be made for declarations to extinguish covenants under Law of Property Act 1925 section 84 if it is obsolete, the beneficiary would lose little, or has implicitly agreed, or it impedes a reasonable user of land and the beneficiary can be compensated. Transferring title to a group of people for common use could ensure this never happened, because if one person died he could be replaced, and it was unlikely for all to die at the same time. When they say ‘Do you understand’? 475. Mortgages and other forms of security interest are usually used to give moneylenders the right to seize property in the event that the debtor does not repay a loan. Courts were particularly chary with "positive covenants" (which might require a landowner's expenditure and could not be fulfilled by doing nothing) and "negative easements" (which unlike covenants might be acquired without agreement). personal or movable property. See EP Cheyney, 'The Disappearance of English Serfdom' (1900) 15(57) English Historical Review 20. Land law is concerned with the rights of a landowner in or over his own land and the rights (or 'interests') that others may have over that land. And under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 section 24, a court was empowered in divorce proceedings to vary the property rights of the parties, especially for the benefit of children, to the extent that was just. There are also a range of statutory easements, including, notably, "wayleaves" reserved by public authorities to install pipes or cables, and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 which extended the registered number of private and common lands where people have the "right to roam" for recreation.  Secured creditors, most usually, are banks and for most people the most familiar kind of security interest is a mortgage. Lord Evershed MR agreed because (1) they owned the dominant tenements, (2) their rights to the "servient" tenement (i.e. The general thrust of the law is to ensure complete transparency, and to cancel extortionate credit agreements, so that consumers know what they are getting, and do not get an unfair bargain. Most of the peasantry were bonded to their masters. The servient tenement owner claimed the car parking took away his use of the land, and so could not be an easement. Almost every step, however, is mediated through court. Under the Land Registration Act 2002 sections 27 to 30, an interest in land that is registered (for instance, freehold ownership, a long lease, or a mortgage) will take priority to all other interests that come later, or are not entered on the register. Halsall v Brizell held that if some Liverpool estate dwellers had the benefit of using the estate roads, drains, promenade, and sea walls, they could be required to pay for its upkeep. The distinction matters mainly to define the scope of the subject matter, because there are different registration requirements, taxes, and other regulations for land's use. Second, property was increasingly used as a source of finance for business, and similarly became source of profit for banks, mortgage lenders and real estate investment trusts. In the sale process itself, there is a duty of care. However, during the 1980s, these rights were removed, along with most rent regulation. "tenants in common"). The Financial Conduct Authority maintains a Code of Practice and enforces compliance with the threat of license withdrawal. However under section 335A(3) after one year expires, a court must order sale of property to realise its value for creditors "unless the circumstances of the case are exceptional". Firstly, the most certain way to sever is to serve a statutory notice under Law of Property Act 1925 section 36 on the other joint tenants "a notice in writing of such desire" to sever one's share. Ownership of land has its roots in the feudal system established by William the Conqueror after 1066, and with a gradually diminishing aristocratic presence, now sees a large number of owners playing in an active market for real estate. Francis or Frank).  English law acknowledges a fixed number, or numerus clausus of property rights, which create various privileges. The cases under Protocol 1, article 1, primarily turn on the question of compulsory acquisition of property by the government.  Inadvertently this meant that the rich, like those in Belgrave Square might be protected, while the poor, in places like Bermondsey, had little control over their local environments. However, from 1993 to 2008, Mr Kernott had moved out, and Ms Jones was raising the children, paying the mortgage and the house expenses. Second, technically the transfer must take place under Law of Property Act 1925 section 52(1) by a deed (though there is no reason why this cannot be combined with step 1, by using a deed for the sale!). However TLATA 1996 went further when a creditor has become insolvent. (Holland v … In a "joint tenancy", the law presumes owners agree that if one owner dies, his or her whole share will pass to the other owners. The courts of common law (the Court of Common Pleas and the Court of the King's Bench) took a strict approach to the rules of title to land, and how many people could have legal interests in land. This ruling was intended to eliminate cases where people do not understand the consequences of mortgages. Essay on UK Land Law. To create an easement, first, under Law of Property Act 1925 section 65(1) a landowner may expressly grant a neighbour a right over his land, or may reserve a right when selling a portion of land to someone else. This is the airspace which exists above the height which is reasonably acceptable and necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of the land by its owner – around 500 to 1000 feet above roof space level (Section 76 Civil Aviation Act 1982). King Henry VIII saw that this deprived the Crown of revenue, and so in the Statute of Uses 1535 he attempted to prohibit them, stipulating all land belonged in fact to the cestui que use.  Under LRA 2002 section 27, the consequence of a failure to register one's interest is that it will not bind another person in law who is transferred the property and does register. ', See also, the satellite picture of the UK in the.  Second, and in contrast to the formalistic approach for section 36, it was held in Burgess v Rawnsley that a course of dealings between two people can manifest the intention to sever. However, in the LRA 2002 adverse possession of registered land became much harder. Covenants are enforceable, generally, through injunctions, but may also (if an injunction would be oppressive) enforceable through a payment of damages reflecting the loss of the right. equitable) to recognise that someone else has a stake in the land. The most relevant protective measure at common law today is the right of borrowers to cancel mortgages if they were misrepresented about the mortgage's terms, or if they entered agreements because of undue influence. Danelaw, the northern, central, and eastern region of Anglo-Saxon England colonized by invading Danish armies in the late 9th century. Clarke LJ felt unable to apply the AJA 1970, because properly construed, it was only able to halt proceedings when legal proceedings had in fact been launched, and here there were none. Third, people can acquire land through proprietary estoppel. The division, both historical and contemporary, has led to significant litigation over the meaning of a "lease". This was the case in Crabb v Arun District Council, where a landowner acquired an easement after the council assured him they would leave him access to his land over theirs, when he sold another portion that gave the route in from the main road. The United Kingdom (the UK) has three separate legal systems: one each for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Corporeal hereditaments: these include land, buildings, minerals, trees, flowers, wild animals and all other things which are part of or affixed to land – in other words, the physical matter over which ownership is exercised. Under the Land Registration Act 2002 sections 23 and 27, a notice of a mortgage must be filed with HM Land Registry for the mortgage to be effective. But under the LRA 2002 Schedule 6, paragraphs 1 to 5, after 10 years the adverse possessor was entitled to apply to the registrar to become the new registered owner. In all situations, however, use of the land is constrained by agreements or binding rights with neighbours, and the requirements of the local council and government. In the 11th and 12th centuries, it was recognized that all of eastern England between the Rivers Tees and Thames formed a region in which a distinctive form of On the case's facts, it was held that Mr Pinnock's eviction for the anti-social behaviour of his sons was proportionate. However, Mrs Boland had not consented to the mortgage agreement. There are two types of airspace – the lower and upper stratums.  Yet this combination of factors, slowly but surely, meant that by 1485 just one per cent of the population were left in bondage. The range of easements is primarily restricted by a fourfold test laid out in Re Ellenborough Park. There could be a single freeholder, or people can own land jointly. Legal title to real property can only be acquired in a limited number of formal ways, while equitable title can be recognised because of a person's contribution, or the parties' true intentions, or some other reason, if the law deems that it is fair and just (i.e. Laws affecting the use and possession of land itself fall under the umbrella of "land use laws." Her interest bound, and took priority to, later registered interests.  First, licences may arise by implication of the law, such as when a customer walks through an open shop door. Mr Burgess had discussed with Ms Rawnsley selling her share in a property for £750 but negotiations stalled when she asked for more, and then he unexpectedly died. In the first main form of co-ownership, known as "joint tenancy", the joint tenants are deemed to share equally in the value of the property if it is sold, and if one joint tenant dies, the others will (by the "right of survivorship" or jus accrescendi in Latin) take the whole of his share.  In the 19th century, a growing liberal movement for reform produced three major results. Section 55 defines 'development' as building, engineering, mining, or making any material change to building, including demolition, or splitting a home into two. , The most contentious method of acquiring property, albeit one that has played a huge role in the history of English land, is adverse possession. That presumption, however, can be rebutted by construction of agreements between the neighbours. Lord Hoffmann remarked that if a reasonable person could understand, however oblique and allusive, that an assurance was given, a legal right would accrue. Although such things may arise by agreement, English law acknowledges their proprietary character, and so they bind successors in title.  And in Crabb v Arun DC a farmer acquired the right to a path over the council's land, because they had assured him that if he sold off one portion an access point would remain. Lastly, if practical, beneficial owners may request trustees to physically partition property under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 section 7, and compensate the different owners in money as is appropriate. This was, said the court, apparently evidence that (if Ms Grant had had no divorce proceedings) the couple must have intended to share the house together. The legal definition of land is wider than what is typically understood as land. If permission is granted, it may be unconditional, or under section 106 the local authority can attach conditions that the landowner must follow. Groom (2011) has stated that even before the publication of Section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, it has been expected to raise the interest of those who belong to the legal profession. The third main feature of the English law of real property is that "real" property (or "realty") means land, and the things that goes with it, alone. Noun. The Law of Property Act 1925– and other property-related reforms from around that time – essentially clarified what constituted an interest in a property, what rights came with that interest, and how the interest was transferred across to new owners. Accordingly, if banks wished to ensure valid mortgages they would need to have confirmation from an independent solicitor that the spouse fully understood the transaction. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the most significant remaining protection is the section 11 obligation on landlords to repair properties' structures, water and heating facilities for short leases. Although Mr Bruton needed a lease to claim, and as a matter of property law he could not be granted a lease from a trust that only had a licence, for the purpose of statutory protection, the House of Lords agreed he was granted a lease, and so could request repairs. In housing, the need of people to have a home is balanced between the interests of landlords in seeking rents for profit, and governments in building and maintaining homes. It can include, for instance, running streams and overhanging trees branches. in Scotland, the maximum noise level that can be heard by a neighbour is 31, Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae, Bristol & West Building Society v Henning, Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act 1970, R (Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd) v Wolverhampton CC, Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, Affordability of housing in the United Kingdom, necessitous men are not, truly speaking, free men, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society v Norgan, Morrells of Oxford Ltd v Oxford United Football Club, Wrotham Park Estate Co Ltd v Parkside Homes Ltd, Town and country planning in the United Kingdom, Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, Development control in the United Kingdom, Building regulations in the United Kingdom, Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act 1944, Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, History of rent control in England and Wales, Landlord and Tenant Law Amendment (Ireland) Act 1860, Oil and gas industry in the United Kingdom, Hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom, National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, European Commissioner for the Environment, Treatise on the Law and Customs of the Kingdom of England, Oak Co-operative Building Society v Blackburn, Taylor Fashions and Old & Campbell v Liverpool Victoria Trustees, Defence of the Realm (Acquisition of Land) Act 1916, Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act 1919, Director of Buildings and Lands v Shun Fung Ironworks Ltd, DHN Food Distributors Ltd v Tower Hamlets London Borough Council, Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, Winter Garden Theatre (London) Ltd v Millennium Productions Ltd, West Midlands Joint Electricity Authority v Pitt, Re Penny and the South Eastern Railway Co, Duke of Buccleuch v Metropolitan Board of Works, Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, List of leading property cases on Bailii.org, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=English_land_law&oldid=978209364, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. 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