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The Principles of Land Law

The Principles of Land Law (1st edn)

Emma Lees
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date: 29 May 2024

p. 814. Formalities and the Creation of Rights in Landlocked

p. 814. Formalities and the Creation of Rights in Landlocked

  • Emma LeesEmma LeesLecturer in Environmental and Property Law, University of Cambridge


This chapter examines the formality rules in relation to transactions involving land, which are essential to the operation of the land law system in practice. Formality rules play an important role in protecting vulnerable individuals; in ensuring caution; and in preserving the essence of an agreement should any future disputes arise. The chapter then details the formalities required to create an enforceable contract in land; a deed; and a valid disposition of an equitable interest. It also explains that there are different formality rules relating to a declaration of trust and to the transfer of interests arising under a trust. A failure to use these formalities does not give rise to homogenous consequences. Rather, for each of these categories, there are subtly different effects arising from a failure to take all the formal steps required.

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