Law of Property Act 1925

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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Text of statute as originally enacted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 Law of Property Act 1925 (c 20) is a statute of the United Kingdom Parliament. It forms part of an interrelated programme of legisation 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 property by lease and deed.

As of 2015 the Act still provides the core of English land law.

Background[edit]

The 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.

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]

Provisions[edit]

Part I - General Principles as to Legal Estates, Equitable Interests and Powers[edit]

Part II - Contracts, Conveyances and other Instruments[edit]

Section 70 of the 1925 Act should 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 Attorney[edit]

Part IV - Equitable Interests and things in Action[edit]

Part V - Leases and Tenancies[edit]

Part VI - Powers[edit]

Part VII - Perpetuities and Accumulations[edit]

Part VIII - Married Women and Lunatics[edit]

Part IX - Voidable Dispositions[edit]

Part X - Wills[edit]

Part XI - Miscellaneous[edit]

Amendments[edit]

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

In fiction[edit]

The Property Act has a major part in the background to the 1927 mystery novel Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers, its passage in Parliament providing the motive for the seemingly motiveless murder which Lord Peter Wimsey must solve. As it is eventually discovered, a young woman who stood to inherit great fortune from her great-aunt under the previous law, where property was to be inherited by any "next of kin", however remote, stood a risk of being disinherited under the provisions of the 1925 act. Therefore, she murdered the great-aunt, in order to make sure that her death will happen while the old law was still in force and before the new Property Act came into force on 1 January 1926. The book includes several chapters in which lawyers discuss the Property Act and its implications at great length.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  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 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. 

References[edit]

  • 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)