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Law of Property Act 1925

The Law of Property Act 1925 (c 20) is a statute of the United Kingdom Parliament. It forms part of an interrelated programme of legislation introduced by Lord Chancellor Lord Birkenhead between 1922 and 1925. The programme was intended to modernise the English law of real property. The Act deals principally with the transfer of freehold or leasehold land by deed.

Law of Property Act 1925
Long title An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to Conveyancing and the Law of Property in England and Wales.
Citation 15 Geo 5 c 20
Introduced by Lord Birkenhead
Territorial extent England and Wales[1]
Dates
Royal assent 9 April 1925
Commencement 1 January 1926[2]
Other legislation
Amended by TLATA 1996;
Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989;
Land Registration Act 2002
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The LPA 1925, as amended, provides the core of English land law, particularly as regards many aspects of freehold land which is itself an important consideration in all other types of interest in land.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The keynote policy of the act was to reduce the number of legal estates to two and generally to make the transfer of interests in land easier for purchasers. Other policies were to regulate mortgages and as to leases, to regulate mainly their assignment, and to tackle some of the miscelleneous gaps, ambiguities and shortcomings in the law of property (lacunae) these included default creation of easements in English law to reduce unintended denial of access, that is landlocked parcels of land — s.62, which resembles the rule in Wheeldon v Burrows of 1879 for instance and s.153 which introduced statutory enlargement, that is applications to convert very long leasehold to freeholds, where no rent is being paid or demanded for a long period of time (a type of leasehold enfranchisement).

The Act followed on from a series of land law and policy reforms that had been begun by the Liberal government starting in 1906. This is how one American legal scholar, Morris Raphael Cohen, described it:

That which was hidden from Maitland, Joshua Williams, and the other great ones, was revealed to a Welsh solicitor who in the budget of 1910 proposed to tax the land so as to force it on the market. The radically revolutionary character of this proposal was at once recognized in England. It was bitterly fought by all those who treasured what had remained of the old English aristocratic rule. When this budget finally passed, the basis of the old real property law and the effective power of the House of Lords was gone.[3] The legislation of 1925-26 was thus a final completion in the realm of private law of the revolution that was fought in 1910 in the forum of public law, i.e., in the field of taxation and the power of the House of Lords.[4]

ProvisionsEdit

Part I - General Principles as to Legal Estates, Equitable Interests and PowersEdit

Part II - Contracts, Conveyances and other InstrumentsEdit

Section 70 of the 1925 Act should be considered in conjunction with schedules 1 & 3 when considering interests that override, most notably that to be in receipts of rents and profits is no longer an overriding interest.

Section 84 of the Act sets out the powers of an appointed authority to alter or remove restrictive covenants on property deeds. This power was later transferred to the Lands Tribunal by the Law of Property Act 1969,[5] and subsequently to the Upper Tribunal by the Transfer of Tribunal Functions (Lands Tribunal and Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2009.[6]

Part III - Mortgages, Rentcharges, and Powers of AttorneyEdit

Part IV - Equitable Interests and things in ActionEdit

Part V - Leases and TenanciesEdit

Part VI - PowersEdit

Part VII - Perpetuities and AccumulationsEdit

Part VIII - Married Women and LunaticsEdit

Part IX - Voidable DispositionsEdit

These sections govern fraud; s.172 was repealed (subject to non-application to then-pending bankruptcies) by the Insolvency Act 1985.

  • s.173 Every voluntary disposition of land (the main example is a gift) made with intent to defraud a later buyer is voidable at the instance of that buyer. And no such disposition shall be deemed to have been made with intent to defraud by reason only that a subsequent conveyance for valuable consideration was made, if such subsequent conveyance was made after 28 June 1893.
    • s.174 No acquisition made in good faith, without fraud or unfair dealing, of any reversionary (landlord's or future) interest in real or personal property, for money or money’s worth, shall be liable to be opened or set aside merely on the ground of under value. In this subsection “reversionary interest” includes an expectancy or possibility. This expressly does not affect the jurisdiction of the court to set aside or modify unconscionable bargains.

Part X - Wills & ProbateEdit

Part XI - MiscellaneousEdit

AmendmentsEdit

Changes have taken place since the commencement of the Land Registration Act 2002.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ s 209(3)
  2. ^ s 209(2)
  3. ^ See Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949
  4. ^ Morris, Raphael Cohen (1933). "Property and Sovereignty". Law and the Social Order (1982 ed.). p. 43. 
  5. ^ "Law of Property Act 1969, Part IV, Section 28". UK Statute Law Database. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  6. ^ "HM Courts & Tribunals Service: Lands Tribunal guidance". Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service. November 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 

ReferencesEdit

  • WT Murphy, T Flessas and S Roberts, Understanding Property Law (4th edn Sweet and Maxwell, London 2003)
  • C Harpum, S Bridge and M Dixon, Megarry & Wade: The Law of Real Property (7th edn Sweet and Maxwell 2008)