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Freehold Leasehold Estates Notes

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A more recent version of these Freehold Leasehold Estates notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

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Land Law : Proprietary Rights, Freehold & Leasehold Estates Proprietary rights
?????Closed 'list' of proprietary rights, s1 LPA 1925:
?????Only two estates in land o S1(1)(a): Freehold (fee simple absolute in possession) o S1(1)(b): Leasehold (term of years absolute)

Freehold estates
?????Fee simple absolute in possession: absolute right to possession indefinitely
?????Formalities for transfer of freehold, 3-stage process: o (1) contract
? Point at which equitable title transfers to buyer (seller retains legal title); gives equitable interest in land to buyer. o (2) Completion/Deed
? Point at which legal title transfers to buyer if unregistered land o (3) registration
? Point at which legal title transfers if registered land (1) Contract (s2 LPMPA):
?????[[need general 2 contract conditions: offer & acceptance; consideration; ICLR]].
?????And specific for land:
?????[contracts made before 27 Sep 1989: LPA 1925 s40
?????s40, must satisfy (a) (b) or (c).
? ?? ? [contracts made on/after 27/9/1989:] s2 LPMPA: (1) in writing; (2) contain all terms; (3) signed by both parties.
?????NB: s2(1): contracts may be exchanged (2 identical contracts, seller and buyer sign one each, exchanged)
?????NB: may have incorporation of terms by reference to another document (s2(2), incorporating that document into the contract).
?????[[same formalities for sale of any estate/interest in land (leasehold, agreement to grant mortgage, easement, lease etc)]].
?????Equitable estate held by buyer from date of contract ('estate contract', not full legal estate).
?????Re options, Spiro v Glencrown: for options, requirements of s2 LPMPA apply to the initial grant of the option; but to exercise the option, is a unilateral act of the buyer, doesn't need seller's consent.
?????NB, Cannot have s2 contract formed by correspondence: Commission for New Towns v Cooper: written offers &
acceptances by correspondence can no longer give rise to a written

1 contract, under s2 LPMPA. For correspondence to result in a binding contract, must culminate in a single doc, referring to every other doc, signed by both parties.
?????Re 'contain all terms', 3 ways to save a contract: collateral contract, Record v Bell; separate contract, Tootal v Guinea; rectification, s2(4), Wright v Robert Leonard): o Collateral contract to induce, Record v Bell: a collateral contract (where the consideration = entry into another contract), designed to induce a buyer into purchase, need not comply with s2 LPMPA, is separate from contract of land. [[re additional agreement for seller to present proof of ownership paperwork; this additional agreement not contained within sale of land contract; buyer argued this meant sale of land contract not compliant with s2 LPMPA as didn't contain all terms; held: additional contract not part of land contract, was collateral, so s2 irrelevant].]
o Separate contract, not directly concerned with sale of land need not be contained in same document as land sale agreement, can be 'hived off', Tootal Clothing v Guinea Properties: contract re seller reimbursing leaseholder for shop fittings he would have to carry out; this contract was 'hived off' into another contract---the existence of second contract didn't contravene s2 LPMPA. o Cannot be 'hived off' if the main land contract is conditional on terms of separate contract (North Eastern v Coleman).
?????Equitable remedy of Rectification (s2(4) LPMPA) o An omission of 'all terms' can be rectified by courts if left out by mistake, but clearly agreed to by both parties, if just' Wright v Robert Leonard o Agreement to sell leasehold included an oral agreement that all fixtures and fittings would be included; wasn't included in written contract, so not s2 compliant; couldn't treat as collateral contract (Record) or as separated, 'hived off' (Tootal)?
o Court granted equitable remedy of rectification---
including the missing terms about interior fittings. o S2(4) LPMPA, rectification o No rectification if the terms were expressly excluded (must have been a mistake): o Oun v Ahmad: unlike Wright v Robert, was not excluded by mistake; here, was expressly excluded. No rectification. o Ruddick v Ormston
? [[NB: note how courts don't like people trying to wiggle out of binding agreements, so have used various methods to uphold the contract, getting round non-compliance with s2: treat as 'collateral' (Record v Bell); treat as 'separate'/hived off

2 (Tootal Clothing v Guinea); or rectify if mistake (Wright v Robert Leonard).]]
Variations to contract
??? ?Where correctly created contract; subsequent variation.
? ?? ? McCausland v Duncan Lawrie: o Tried to vary completion date. o A variation of a 'material term' (eg completion date) must comply with s2 LPMPA (so can't be oral). Exceptions for s2 LPMPA formalities
? (1) contracts to grant a lease of term not exceeding 3 years (S54(2) LPA 1925)---which takes effect 'in possession', if at best rent obtainable.
? (2) contracts made at public auctions
? (3) the creation of resulting, implied or constructive trusts (s53(2) LPA 1925).
? (4) certain contracts regulated by Financial Services & Markets Act

2000. ? (5) Proprietary estoppel: courts may uphold non-s2 compliant agreements under doctrine of PE (Yaxley v Gotts). Proprietary effect of a binding contract (an estate contract)
? ?? ? Effect of estate contract ? the equitable interest in the land passes to buyer [[seller retains legal title]].
? ?? ? So estate contract = equitable interest in the land, held from date of contract. This is a proprietary right.
??? ?Why: 'equity regards that as done that which ought to be done'.
??? ?Can be protected against 3rd parties.
? ?? ? So if seller doesn't go through with sale, not handing over legal title, buyer can enforce his equitable interest under estate contract, with equitable remedies: SP, injunction etc. Remedies if either party breach estate contract
?????(1) Damages, available as of right for breach of contract. Usual measure = the loss C has suffered as result of the breach (Speciality Shops v Yorkshire).
?????(2) discretionary equitable remedies (awarded if 'fair &
equitable': o SP o Injunction o Rectification (eg Wright v Robert Leonard), rectifies the contract (2) completion

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