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Land Law

Land Law (2nd edn)

Ben McFarlane, Nicholas Hopkins, and Sarah Nield
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date: 28 September 2022

p. 1385. The Acquisition of Equitable Interestslocked

p. 1385. The Acquisition of Equitable Interestslocked

  • 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

Abstract

This chapter considers the acquisition question in relation to certain equitable interests, and more specifically the principal circumstances in which equitable property rights can be acquired. The discussion is centred on equitable interests that arise under a trust and on those acquired through the doctrine of proprietary estoppel. Equitable interests that arise under a trust are also known as beneficial interests. Interests that exist under a trust are necessarily equitable, but not all equitable interests require a trust. The chapter first considers how a beneficial interest under a trust can be acquired and how express trusts of land are created before turning to the acquisition of beneficial interests through resulting and constructive trusts. It then describes four types of constructive trust and goes on to explain the doctrine of anticipation. It also assesses the relationship between proprietary estoppel and constructive trusts.

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