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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 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 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.

Book

Cover The Principles of Land Law
The Principles of Land Law provides a framework through which readers can gain a sophisticated understanding of the modern land law system. Firstly, the text explains the key learning objectives. Principles are summarised to conclude each chapter with a comprehensive overview of the topic at hand. Key cases are explained while examples illustrate problems and possible solutions. The aim is to ensure that readers understand how to apply the core principles to land law scenarios accurately, while also conducting their own critical analysis of the subject area. Topics covered include personal and property rights in land, land registration, adverse possession, freehold, leases and mortgages, ownership, and human rights and property law.

Chapter

Cover The Principles of Land Law

5. Land Registration  

This chapter explores how the English land law land registration system works in practice. The land registration system achieves three goals. The first is as a method of controlling the way in which rights are created. The second is in terms of managing the effect of such rights, once they have been created. The third is as a means to regulate the interactions between different proprietary rights which exist in relation to the same piece of land. The chapter considers the first two functions: mode of rights creation and effect of rights creation. It then looks at what happens when these functions go wrong within the system — how do the principles of registered land interact with the inevitable reality of both human error and human creativity? In answering this issue, the chapter considers how the register is rectified and altered. Finally, it examines potential reforms, including those proposed by the Law Commission, and the possibility of the advent of e-conveyancing. The Law Commission has now begun the process of bringing about reform of the Land Registration Act 2002 to allow for the smoother operation of the registration system in cases of error.