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Law Notes Land Law Notes

Concurrent And Successive Interests Notes

Updated Concurrent And Successive Interests Notes

Land Law Notes

Land Law

Approximately 987 pages

Land Law notes fully updated for recent exams at Oxford and Cambridge. These notes cover all the LLB land law cases and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London).

These were the best Land Law notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through dozens of LLB samples from outstanding law students with the highest results in ...

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  • Malayan Credit Ltd v Jack Chia-MPH Ltd [1986] AC 549: P & D entered into joint venture to obtain a lease of an area; agreed that would occupy a portion each and contribute proportionally to their share. Landlord executed a lease in their favour as joint tenants; issue later arose as to whether equity could intervene and presume them to be tenants in common; thought in this case that there were tenants in common in proportion to shares and it did not matter that issue was over lease and not freehold.

  • Goodman v Gallant [1986] Fam 106: D was joint beneficial owner of property with her husband. After splitting from husband, P moved in and together they bought out the husband’s share, then declaring themselves as joint tenants. After relationship problems D tried to sever tenancy and claimed that she had a share. Slade LJ:

    • If the conveyance contains an express declaration of trust which declares the beneficial interests in the property or its proceeds of sale there is no room for the operation of resulting or constructive trusts unless and until the conveyance is set aside or rectified; until that event the document speaks for itself.

    • There is a real and important distinction between a conveyance into joint names which contains a declaration of trust of the beneficial interests and a conveyance which contains no such declaration.

    • As there was no claim for rectification or rescission the declaration as to joint shares had to stand.

  • Thompson, [1987] Conv 29: Argues that should abolish equitable joint tenancies.

    • Little of advantage would be lost if joint tenancies were confined to ownership of the legal estate. In fairness, it should be pointed out that the abolition of equitable joint tenancies would carry one drawback. On the death of one of the tenants in common the sole survivor would need to appoint a second trustee to effect a sale of the property. It could not be assumed that the survivor took under the will of the deceased, thereby terminating the co-ownership.

      • While this is a disadvantage, it is suggested that it is outweighed by the advantages.

    • The advantages can be summarised as including ridding the law of the difficult and technical problem of determining whether severance has occurred and the concomitant possibility that the right of survivorship may operate inappropriately. Instead, the destination of the beneficial interests on death would be determined by each party's will which, one hopes, each would be encouraged to make when the property was acquired. Secondly, potential problems or interpretation of the Forfeiture Act 1982 would be avoided and, finally, each party would be encouraged to agree at the outset what share each would get in the event of a sale.

  • Pritchard [1987] Conv 273: Disputes above submission.

    • Thompson notes the following mischief’s as justifying the radical solution:

      • Problems when the marriage or other initial arrangement goes sour;

        • Not clear that one can categorically say that this causes injustice and neglects the fact that many people are genuinely attracted to the survival aspects of joint tenancy.

      • The uncertainties as to the manners in which severance may be effected;

      • The special problems arising when one co-owner is responsible for the death of another; and

      • The unpleasant surprise for a severing co-owner that a severance will create equal beneficial shares, not resurrect the original contribution proportions.

    • This may be an attractive form of landholding both for married couples wishing to demonstrate the full content of their mutual vows and also unmarried siblings anxious to secure the smooth transition of ownership on death of not just the family home but also any family business.

    • Is it unarguably the case that the unsuccessful partnerships should dictate the apparatus of the law? If a relationship turns sour enough, why should not an aggrieved co-owner effect a severance? And are not the powers of the court to divide property on a break-down of a marriage sufficient? And is not the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 an adequate protection to cover the hardest cases that might occur through the failure to sever? Especially if the law were changed to allow severance by will?

  • Thompson, [1987] Conv 275: Reform of the method of severance seems to be seeking to suppress the effect of beneficial joint tenancies while retaining the concept. Suggests that simpler to grasp the nettle and abolish them.

1. Severance of a joint tenancy

  • Law of Property Act 1925 s 36(2): Cannot server a joint tenancy so as to create a tenancy in common at law; but can sever equitable interest whether or not the estate is vested in joint tenants at law; must give notice in writing of the desire to sever, or do things are acts that would amount to severance in equity; land then held on trust. Nothing in the Act affects the right of survivorship for joint tenants.

  • Williams v Hensman (1861) 1 J & H 546, 557: A joint tenancy may be severed in one of the three ways which entail that the right to survivorship is lost by that person with respect to the other shares:

    • An act of any one of the persons interested in operating on his own share may create severance;

    • Mutual agreement;

    • Any course of dealing sufficient to intimate that the interests were mutually treated as a in common;

      • Will not suffice to rely on an intention declared only behind the backs of others interested;

      • Must find a course of dealing which affects all the shares of the concerned parties.

  • Re Draper's Conveyance [1969] 1 Ch 486: House was conveyed to husband & wife as joint tenants; following divorce the wife intimated that she wanted to sell it, but the property remained unsold at the time of the husbands death. Issue as to whether or not the right of survivorship was in play. Plowman J:

    • A declaration by one of a number of joints tenants of his intention to sever will operate as a...

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