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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Property Law

Property Law

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Introduction. 1
Property Law.. 1
Personal Property Law.. 2
Real Property Law.. 2
The 1925 property legislation. 3
Land Registration Act 2002. 3
Limitation of the Law.. 6
Conclusion. 6
Reference(s) 7


Property is the item or thing owned with the rights of possession, use, and enjoyment, and which the owner can bestow, collateralize, encumber, mortgage, sell, or transfer, and can exclude everyone else from it. There are two basic kinds of property. Those are (1) Real Property means land and (2) Personal Property means anything other than real property which does not involve geographical fixity. Law is the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties. Property law is such type of law which regulates various forms of ownership and tenure in real property and personal property.
Property law deals with both Real Property and Personal Property. In England, property law contains four main topics. Those are Real property law, Trusts law, personal law and intellectual property law. In this assessment, I try to find out the law of property in England and Wales, and understand the concepts of ownership and proprietary rights in land covered.

Property Law

Property law is the principles, policies, and rules by which arguments over property are to be resolved and by which property transactions may be structured. What distinguishes property law from other kinds of law is that property law deals with the relationships between and among members of a society with respect to “things.” The things may be tangible, such as land or a factory or a diamond ring, or they may be intangible, such as stocks and bonds or a bank account. Property law, then, deals with the allocation, use, and transfer of wealth and the objects of wealth (Britannica, 2014). The English legal system has never been codified, although there are a number of very large statutes consolidating aspects of property law, such as the Law of Property Act 1925 and the Trustee Act 1925. The subject continues to have an important basis in case law so that these statutes so not themselves essentially define property. The Law of Property Act 1925 s1(1) classifies types of property in a way that departs from the Roman Law distinctions between real and personal property (Law of Property Act, 1925).

Personal Property Law

Personal property represents goods, money, and all other movables which may attend the owner's person wherever he thinks proper to go. A tangible item is an item that can be felt or touched such as furniture, equipment, vehicles and goods. An intangible item is simply an item that can't be felt or touched such as Stocks, Bonds, Intellectual property and Money. In England real property is supposed to be superior in dignity to personal property, which was originally of little importance from a legal point of view. As a preliminary point, successive government reports have endorsed the idea of reforming the English law of personal property security along the lines of Article 9 of the United States Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) which was first introduced in 1952 and whose influence has since spread to the common law jurisdictions of Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand (McCormack, 2004).

Real Property Law

Real  property  has  a  technical  meaning  derived  from  the  old  law  of  succession,  which became obsolete in England (as opposed to  Ireland) in 1925.  Real property included freehold  land  but  excluded  leasehold  land  so  that  the  two  forms  of  ownership  were  formerly treated  differently  on  death  but,  since  1925,  all  property  (moveable  and  immoveable)  has been subject to a single  assimilated law of succession (Law of Property Act, 1925).
Identification of real property is Such a description usually makes use of natural or manmade boundaries such as seacoasts, rivers, streams, the crests of ridges, lakeshores, highways, roads, and railroad tracks, and/or purpose-built markers such as cairns, surveyor's posts, fences, official government surveying marks, and so forth.
Comparison between real and personal property in England: Personal property is not matter to various incidents of real property, such as rent, dower or escheat. On the death of the owner intestate real property descends to the heir; personal property is divided according to the Statute of Distributions. Real property as a general rule must be transferred by deed; personal property does not need so solemn a mode of transfer. Contracts relating to real property must be in writing by the Statute of Frauds and contracts relating to personal property need only be in writing when it is expressly so provided by statute, as, for instance, in the cases falling under section 17 of the Statute (Education Portal, 2014).

The 1925 property legislation

The  Law  of  Property  Act  1925  is  the  most  enduring  element  of  the  Birkenhead  legislation  of  1925.    It  deals  with  estates,  trusts,  co-ownership  of  land,  contracts  and  conveyances,  formalities,  leases  and  tenancies  in  outline,  and  burdens  such  as  mortgages,  easements  and  covenants,  and  also  important  definitions. The Trustee Act 1925 (heavily amended in 2000) regulates the powers and duties of trustees, though really a thin layer of statute on a large encrustation of cases. The  Settled  Land  Act  1925  which  dealt  with  landed  estates  is  largely obsolete. Registration  was  placed  on  a  firmer  footing  in  1925  with  the  Land  Charges  Act 1925  (now  as  re-enacted  in  1972)  regulating  the  registration  of  burdens  against  titles which  are  unregistered  and  the  Land  Registration  Act  1925  providing  for  registration  of titles  to  land  itself; this  last  has  recently  been  comprehensively  restated  in  the  Land  Registration  Act  2002 (Leasehold reform act,  1967). There  has  been  much  piecemeal  amendment  of  the  statute  book  –the book we use with students lists 61 Acts in pure land law, ignoring that is the numerous statutes  on  landlord  and  tenant,  and  these  are  supplemented  by  innumerable  statutory  instruments.  The  two  key  texts  are  the  Law  of  Property  Act  1925  and  the  Land  Registration Act 2002.
Legal and equitable principles: A  legal  interest  must  (a)  comply  with  the  rules  for  legal  interests  and  (b)  be  created using the correct formalities.  I will take the example of an easement.  Legal easements must exist  in  perpetuity  or  for  a  term  of  years  (say  10  or  999  years).  An easement for A’s life must be equitable.  If it is for a permissible duration e.g. for 99 years it will be legal if created by  the  correct  formality  that  is  by  deed,  though  prescriptive  easements  are  also  legal.

Land Registration Act 2002

Registered Land Principles: The Land Registration Act 2002 contains provisions that render the mirror principle, as applied to land registration, wanting. These provisions refer to proprietary rights that the law allows to exist unrecorded and which can only be known through actual ocular inspection of the land. These provisions are contained in ss. 11(4) (b), 12(4) (c), Schedule 1, s 29(1)-(2(a) (i-ii), and Schedule 3. In addition, there are other interests that are not required to be registered outside of the law that can override registration, and all these can be lumped together as minor interests (Law teacher, 2014). Short leases, under Schedule 1 of the Land Registration Act 2002, is granted an overriding interest over first registration if the term granted is not more than seven years subject to certain exceptions under ss. 4(d), (e) and (f). This is nevertheless, an improvement over the previous Land Registration Act 1925, which granted overriding interest for 21 year leases (Law teacher, 2014).
Registration of unregistered land process discusses in Land Registration Act 2002 section 3 and 4. Effect of non-compliance cited in section 6-8. Classes of title listed Absolute, Qualified, Possessory and Leasehold in section 9-10.
Dealing in Registered Land: For the purposes of section 105 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (c. 20) (mortgagee's duties in relation to application of proceeds of sale), in its application to the proceeds of sale of registered land, a person shall be taken to have notice of anything in the register immediately before the disposition on sale (Land Registration Act, 2002). Dispositions must be registered in order to take effect at law s.27 (2). It includes Transfers, freeholds and leaseholds, Grants of leases, reservations of easements and legal charges.
Check the register interests protected by notices in ss.33-39. Excluded interests: trust interests and non-registered short leases (three years or less); s.33 and the Effect of notices; s.32 (3), Restrictions and their effect; ss.40-47(Land Registration Act, 2002).
Leasehold Estates and Licences: An owner of land will hold the land freehold or leasehold. These are the only two legal estates permitted in modern land law. According to Law of Property Act 1925 Section 1(1): The only estates in land which are capable of subsisting or of being conveyed or created at law are – (a) An estate in fee simple absolute in possession;    (b) A term of years absolute. A leasehold estate in land granted for a term not exceeding seven years from the date of the grant, except for—  (a) A lease the grant of which falls within section 4(1)(d), (e) or (f);
(b) A lease the grant of which constitutes a registered disposition (Land Registration Act, 1925).
According to Law of Property Act 1925, section 205(1) (xxvii). There is a feudal relationship between landlord and tenant which says the freeholder and the leaseholder. The tenant usually renders a service to the landlord for the giving of possession of the land to the tenant – feudally this was called rent service, but commonly called rent (Faculty of Law, 2014).
Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 (c. 30) is amended as follows. In sections 3(6) and 15(5) (b), for “Land Registration Act 1925”there is substituted “Land Registration Act 2002”. In section 20, in subsection (2), for the words from “rules” to the end there is substituted “land registration rules under the Land Registration Act 2002”. In that section, in subsection (6)- (a) There is substituted  “capable of falling within paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 or 3 to the Land Registration  Act 2002” (b) Caution under the Land Registration Act 1925 (Land Registration Act, 2002).
Enforcement  against  a  dwelling  is  likely  to  take  at  least  six  months  and  could  become impossible if the court suspends possession. The  onset  of  insolvency  will  make  no  difference  to  a  fixed  charge,  since  the  land  is excluded  from  the  insolvent’s  estate  to  the  extent to  the  loan  and  the lender  can  sell  without involving  the  trustee  in  bankruptcy  or  liquidator. Some corporate  regimes  may  involve  a moratorium  on  enforcement  procedures,  but  this  will  not  prevent  enforcement  of  a  fixed charge (Sparkes, 2014).
Trusts of land: The  Trusts  of  Land  and  Appointment  of  Trustees  Act  1996  created  a  single  simple  vehicle for  holding  land  in  trust.    It  replaces  the  system  of  trusts  for  sale  used  between  1925  and 1996. In  essence  trusts  are  now  simple  trusts,  that  is  without  any  special  convincing device other than a power of sale. These are a bare trust, a former strict settlement and a trust for sale. All  three  now  operate  in  the  same  way,  the  bare  trust  being  usual. This vehicle is used in three main ways: a settlement on successive generations, co-ownership and management trusts e.g. trusts following death, minority, or for managing charitable land (TLATA, 1996). The  form  of  the  questionnaire  does  not  make  adequate  provision  for  a  discussion  of  co-ownership. No  doubt  this  is  not  a  great  issue  in  civilian  systems, but  it  is  central  to English  land  law  since  the  1925  legislation  imposes  a  statutory  trust  in  all  cases  of  co-ownership,  formerly  a  trust  for  sale  and  now  a  trust  of  land.
Transfer of the mortgage: The debtor has set up a mortgage/land charge to the benefit of bank 1 to secure a loan granted to him. An  entire  portfolio  of  mortgages  to  be  transferred  is  all bank  1’s  business  transferred  to  bank  2,  it  is  relatively  rare  for  individual  mortgages  to  be transferred and it is extremely unusual  for property  to be sold subject to an existing mortgage.

Limitation of the Law

It appears that English law does not sever a mortgage into the real security and the personal obligation. Dicey & Morris state that “In the conflict of law the distinction between the interest in the land and the personal obligation is not normally made for the purposes of sit us, and the asset is regarded (Dicey & Morris, 2000).” Thus the interest of the lender is seen as realty for conflicts purpose  even  though  English  law  sees  it  as  personal  property.    There  are  conflicting  cases  in  many  common  law  jurisdictions  but  it  seems  that  this  law  is  settled  in  England.
There are not believed to be any restrictions. It is not usual to have loan agreement, but rather a non-binding offer of a loan followed by a formal mortgage document and if there is a contract in the strict sense the effect is to create an equitable mortgage.


The complexity of the law pertaining to personal property security law in England and Wales has over the years occasioned a pressing need for reform, and the enactment of the Article 9 model embodied in the PPS legislation is timely. If Article 9-type reforms were enacted in England and Wales, it would bring greater organization and consistency to the law of personal property security interests.  Against that is the practical concern that a transaction carried out outside the UK may involve the creation of security over UK assets but, because lawyers in the UK are not involved in the transaction, it may not be apparent to the parties that registration is required. And there is also a great deal of uncertainty about where assets (particularly intangible assets) are situated. It is also the case that a person dealing with a company knows where it is incorporated and can conduct such searches as it requires in the place of incorporation. If its place of incorporation does not have a system for registration of charges, it will need to conduct searches in a different way, but it is difficult to justify the UK legislating for perceived imperfections in the registration requirements of other jurisdictions.


Britannica Property Law, 2014. Property Law [Online]. (Updated August 2014) Available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/479032/property-law/[Accessed 30 Dec 2014]

Blackstone, W., 1975. Commentaries on the Laws of England II. Oxford: Clarendon Press. P.16.

McCormack, G., 2004. Secured Credit under English & American Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, P. 71.

Legislation, 2014. Law of Property Act 1925 Part I Section 1 (c.20) [Online]. (Updated 2014) Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo5/15-16/20/section/1 [Accessed 30 Dec 2014]

Education Portal, 2014. Comparison between Real & Personal Property [Online]. (Updated 2014) Available at: http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/real-property-and-personal-property-definition-and-differences.html[Accessed 30 Dec 2014]

Legislation, 2014. Leasehold Reform Act 1967 [Online]. (Updated 2014) Available at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1967/88/contents[Accessed 29 Dec 2014]

Law Teacher, 2014. The law essay professional [Online]. (Updated 2014) Available at: http://www.lawteacher.net/land-law/essays/mirror-principle-and-the-land-act.php [Accessed 31 Dec 2014]

Land Registry, 2014. Land Registry Practice Guide 15[pdf]. Available at: <http://www1.landregistry.gov.uk/assets/library/documents/lrpg015.pdf>[Accessed 31 Dec 2014]

Land Registry, 2014. Land Registry Practice Guide 25[pdf]. Available at <http://www1.landregistry.gov.uk/assets/library/documents/lrpg025.pdf>[Accessed 30 Dec 2014]

Legislation, 2002. Land Registration Act [Online]. (Updated 2014) Available at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/9/contents/[Accessed 30 Dec 2014]

Faculty of Law, 2014. Land Economy Tripos Paper 8[doc]. Available through: University of Cambridge website <www.law.cam.ac.uk/faculty-resources/10013811.docx>[Accessed 30 Dec 2014]

Legislation, 2014. Land Registration Act 2002 c. 9 [Online]. (Updated 2014) Available at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/9/contents/[Accessed 30 Dec 2014]

Sparkes, P., 2014. Property Law. Subject Sections Secretary of the Society of Legal Scholars, University of Southampton.

Legislation, 2014. Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act (TLATA) 1996 [Online]. (Updated 2014) Available at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/47/contents [Accessed 29 Dec 2014]

Dicey & Morris, 2000. The Conflict of Laws. 13th edition by Collins, L. J., Sweet & Maxwell, para [22-35].

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