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Land Law

Land Law (2nd edn)

Ben McFarlane, Nicholas Hopkins, and Sarah Nield
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date: 18 July 2024

p. 36611. The Defences Questionlocked

p. 36611. The Defences Questionlocked

  • Ben McFarlane, Ben McFarlaneProfessor of English Law, University of Oxford
  • Nicholas HopkinsNicholas HopkinsLaw Commissioner for England and Wales and Professor of Law, University of Reading
  •  and Sarah NieldSarah NieldProfessor of Law, University of Southampton


This chapter examines land law's priority rules, conceptualized as the defences question. Priority rules refer to a set of rules that determine the circumstances in which a property right held by one party (B) against another party's title (A) can be enforced when A transfers the title to a third party (C) or grants a mortgage over the title to C as security for a loan. The chapter considers the circumstances in which C has a defence against B's claim to priority, focusing on priority rules that apply in registered land. It also discusses the specific rules provided in the Land Registration Act 2002 for registered dispositions of registered estates for valuable consideration and two defences that operate outside the provisions of the Act; the defence of consent and overreaching.

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