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Chapter

Cover Textbook on Land Law

3. Buying a house  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on Land Law provides an accessible overview of one key area on the law curriculum. This chapter discusses the acquisition of a fee simple estate in land. It first describes the two freehold properties that are currently for sale in Trant Way, Mousehole, Stilton, and their prospective buyers, Barbara Bell (buying ‘unregistered land’), and Mr and Mrs Armstrong (buying ‘registered land’). It explains the two systems of title (registered and registered) that currently exist in English law and provides an outline of the conveyancing proces.

Chapter

Cover The Principles of Land Law

3. Registered and Unregistered Land  

This chapter discusses one of the most important components of the land law system: the registration of title to land. This is the system whereby rights in land are recorded on a publically available register. The chapter first examines some of the history of English land law in the 20th and 21st centuries, considering the 1925 reforms and the Land Registration Act 2002. It also describes what the land register is, and how it fits into the system of rights in land. Land registration essentially contains three guiding rules. Certain rights must be registered to be created. Once registered, the effect of such rights is determined by their registered status. The relationship between the right-holder and third parties who later acquire rights in, or transact in relation to, the relevant land is, again, determined by registration. The register therefore has three functions: it controls creation of rights, the effects of such rights, and the interaction between rights. In this sense, registration fundamentally determines how land law works. The chapter then looks at the principles of conveyancing in unregistered land.

Chapter

Cover Textbook on Land Law

5. Unregistered land  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on Land Law provides an accessible overview of one key area on the law curriculum. This chapter continues the discussion of the planned purchase of 2 Trant Way, which has an unregistered title, by Barbara Bell. It looks at what Barbara (or, more likely, her professional adviser) will have to do, either before or after exchanging contracts, to ensure that it is safe for her to buy the property. Barbara will need to check two things about the property she is planning to buy. She needs to ensure that: Victoria Ventnor, the vendor, owns the property she is offering to sell; and the property is free from any encumbrances (third-party rights) other than those which have already been revealed. The chapter explains how these two aspects of proving title are dealt with in the unregistered system.

Chapter

Cover Textbook on Land Law

5. Unregistered land  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on Land Law provides an accessible overview of one key area on the law curriculum. This chapter explains the process of buying unregistered land, focusing on the example of Barbara Bell who was introduced in Chapter 3 as a buyer of an unregistered freehold estate, 2 Trant Way. It explains how a buyer of unregistered land ‘deduces title’ (confirming that the seller of a freehold estate is indeed its owner) and checks for burdens affecting the land, including a discussion of burdens that must be registered on the separate ‘land charges register’ to bind a buyer of unregistered land. Finally, it considers the requirements for completing a purchase of unregistered land, including the requirement to apply for first registration of that land.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Land Law

1. Exam Skills for Success in Land Law  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. This chapter gives students advice on the skills for success in land law exams. It includes tips on what to do during the module, how to tackle the revision period, and tips for the exam room, as well as advice on the structure and approach to problem questions. It gives advice which starts from the moment the module begins advising on the best way to approach learning and understanding land law and suggests how to get the best out of your lectures and tutorials or seminars.

Chapter

Cover The Principles of Land Law

1. Introduction—Principles and Themes of Land Law  

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the land law system. The operation of the land law rules can be split into three central questions: first, the content and nature of individual rights in land — both ownership-estates and interests in another's land; second, the method of creation and transfer of these individual rights; and third, the interaction between these rights and the rights of others. The law's answer to these questions is shaped by the social context within which the rules operate, and by the principles of land law. These principles are certainty; sensitivity to context; transactability; systemic and individual effects; and the importance of recognising social effects. The chapter then considers the logic of the land law system. Understanding this logic begins with understanding the terminology, and this terminology is nowhere more unhelpful but essential than in the distinction between legal and equitable rights, and in the concept of ownership.

Chapter

Cover Land Law Concentrate

4. Unregistered land  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses unregistered land. This is land where title has not been registered at the Land Registry. Proof of ownership comes from an examination of title deeds relating to that land. Identification of any third party proprietary interests burdening a piece of unregistered land cannot be discovered by a search of the land register. Rather, an examination of the title documents and various registers is required to discover their existence. The most important is a search of the Land Charges Register which is made against the names of previous owners, not the property address. Legal interests over unregistered land bind the world, with the exception of the puisne mortgage, which requires registration as a land charge to be binding. Interests covered by the Land Charges Act 1972 must be registered as the appropriate land charge to bind a purchaser. Failure to register such an interest appropriately means that the interest will not bind certain types of purchasers of the land.

Chapter

Cover The Principles of Land Law

4. Formalities and the Creation of Rights in Land  

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.

Chapter

Cover Textbook on Land Law

1. Estates in land  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on Land Law provides an accessible overview of one key area on the law curriculum. This chapter introduces Trant Way, a road in the fictitious town of Mousehole in the county of Stilton, which will be used throughout the book to illustrate the application of land law rules in practical situations. It also describes one of the houses along the road, Trant House, which in the story presented here has just been put up for sale by its owner, Vernon. It follows a prospective purchaser who is viewing Trant House to explain what is meant by ‘owning land’. The discussion cover topics such as tenure, estates in land, and the 1925 reforms of land law.

Chapter

Cover Textbook on Land Law

15. Settled Land Act settlements  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on Land Law provides an accessible overview of one key area on the law curriculum. This chapter briefly discusses the Settled Land Act (SLA) settlement created before 1 January 1997, the other form of trust which still exists in relation to land. It addresses the following three questions: who holds the legal estate in settled land? Are there trustees? What sort of property may be subject to a SLA settlement?

Chapter

Cover Textbook on Land Law

21. Special rights in relation to the family home  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on Land Law provides an accessible overview of one key area on the law curriculum. This chapter brings together some matters about the family home, and provides additional information about certain statutory rights which members of a family may have in respect of their homes, contrasting the rights of married couples and civil partners with the more limited rights of cohabitants. In conclusion, the chapter outlines past proposals for reform of the law relating to cohabitants’ rights in the family home. It illustrates the issues considered by reference to 11 Trant Way (occupied by Mr and Mrs Mould), 12 Trant Way (occupied by Mildred Mumps and Henry Newton) and 2 Trant Way (occupied by Barbara Bell and her father, Bob).

Chapter

Cover Textbook on Land Law

1. Estates in land  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on Land Law provides an accessible overview of one key area on the law curriculum. This chapter introduces Trant Way, a road in the fictitious town of Mousehole in the county of Stilton, which will be used throughout the book to illustrate the application of land law rules in practical situations. It also describes one of the houses along the road, Trant House, which in the story presented here has just been put up for sale. It follows a prospective purchaser who is viewing Trant House to explain what is meant by ‘owning land’. The discussions also cover topics such as tenure, estates in land (freehold and leasehold estates), and the two modern legal estates.

Chapter

Cover Textbook on Land Law

15. Settled Land Act settlements  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on Land Law provides an accessible overview of one key area on the law curriculum. This chapter briefly discusses the Settled Land Act (SLA) settlement, the other form of trust which still exists in relation to land. It addresses the following three questions: who holds the legal estate in settled land? Are there trustees? What sort of property may be subject to a SLA settlement?

Chapter

Cover Textbook on Land Law

21. Special rights in relation to the family home  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on Land Law provides an accessible overview of one key area on the law curriculum. This chapter brings together some matters about the family home, and provides additional information about certain statutory rights which members of a family may have in respect of their homes, contrasting the rights of married couples and civil partners with the more limited rights of cohabitants. In conclusion, the chapter outlines proposals for reform of the law relating to cohabitants’ rights in the family home.

Chapter

Cover Land Law Directions

11. Trusts of land  

This chapter focuses on what the law requires of trustees of land and how it protects the beneficiaries of those trusts. All trusts of land are now governed by the statutory framework set out in the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. The Act sets out the rights and responsibilities of trustees, and the rights of beneficiaries, under a trust of land. Trustees have extensive powers over the land but have a duty to act in the interests of the beneficiaries, to consult them, and to give effect to their wishes where possible. The beneficiaries (with an interest in possession) have a right to occupy the land, although the trustees have the power, under certain circumstances, to restrict or exclude them from occupation. The chapter also discusses the powers of the court under TOLATA 1996, cases of bankruptcy, and the Settled Land Act 1925.

Chapter

Cover Land Law Directions

7. The sole owner of land  

This chapter discusses what it means to be the ‘owner’ of a property. In registered land, whoever is entered into the proprietorship register as the registered proprietor of the property is deemed to have the authority to deal with the land as an owner. The chapter discusses three alternative scenarios when the land register shows a sole registered proprietor; the first is that the registered proprietor is the sole legal and equitable owner of the land; the second is that the registered proprietor is the sole legal owner, holding the equitable title on trust for someone else; the third is that the registered proprietor is the sole legal owner, holding the equitable title on trust for themself and (an)other equitable owner(s). The chapter considers the potential dangers for equitable owners and purchasers and explains the law that has been put in place to protect them.

Chapter

Cover Land Law Concentrate

1. Introduction: proprietary rights  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses proprietary rights. These govern people’s ability to use and enjoy both land they physically possess and land physically possessed by others. Whilst technically all land is owned by the Crown, holding an estate in land, and in particular a freehold estate that gives one rights to possess, enjoy, and use the land forever, is tantamount to actual ownership. The other type of proprietary right is an interest in land. Whilst an estate gives one a slice of time to use and enjoy land one physically possesses, an interest gives the right to use and enjoy land physically possessed by another. Proprietary rights can be either legal or equitable in status.

Chapter

Cover Land Law Concentrate

13. Freehold covenants  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses freehold covenants. Freehold covenants are promises extracted by one freehold owner (the covenantee) from another freehold owner (the covenantor), whereby the latter promises either to do (positive covenant) or not to do (negative covenant) something over his land. The land burdened by the promise becomes the servient tenement. The land benefiting from the promise becomes the dominant tenement. Covenants commonly arise when a freehold owner is selling off part of his freehold to another and wishes to maintain some degree of control over the land being sold in order to preserve the value and enjoyment of the land he is retaining. Covenants may be enforceable between successors in title to the original covenantee and covenantor but only where certain requirements have been met.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Land Law

12. Mortgages  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary, and illustrative diagrams and flowcharts. This chapter presents sample exam questions about the law of mortgages. The questions deal with issues such as their creation; clogs on the equity of redemption; the remedies of a mortgagee and protection of the mortgagor; and undue influence. Remedies of a mortgagee where the mortgagor defaults is an area of the law where, over recent years, the courts have had to consider entirely new social circumstances in relation to ‘negative equity’ and mortgage debt.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Land Law

2. Definition of Land and Finders’ Titles  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary, and illustrative diagrams and flowcharts. This chapter presents sample exam questions about the definition of land and finders’ titles. It considers the application of the Treasure Act 1996; the difference between fixtures and chattels and the legal implications of those differences; the definition of land; the meaning and application of the Latin maxims: cuius est solum eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos (‘the owner of the land owns everything up to the sky and down to the centre of the earth’) and quicquid plantatur solo, solo cedit (‘whatever is attached to the land becomes part of the land’); the nature of property rights at common law; the relative nature of property rights; possession as font of title for finders; and title to registered land.