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Law Notes Land Law Notes

Leases Contract Andor Property Notes

Updated Leases Contract Andor Property 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).

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Leases: Contracts and/or Property?


  • LPA 1925 s.1

    • (1) Only estates in land capable of subsisting or being conveyed by law are

      • (a) An estate in fee simple absolute possession

      • (b) A term of years absolute

    • (2) Only interests over land which are capable of subsisting or of being conveyed or created at law are—

      • (a) An easement, right, or privilege in or over land for an interest equivalent to an estate in fee simple absolute in possession or a term of years absolute;

      • (b) A rentcharge in possession issuing out of or charged on land being either perpetual or for a term of years absolute;

    • Statute implies through these sections that lease is a property right

  • Smith: However, has long been recognised that leases are invariably contracts

    • Albeit special in that a proprietary interest is conferred on the tenant.

    • However, do constitute some exceptions to modern contracts b/c these rules are more recent and worked out after leases have been worked out.

      • Millet LJ in Ingram v IRC [1998]:

        • Is easy to make too much of contractual nature of relationship

          • While many leases = contracts

            • Does not follow that can simply treat leases as if contracts and no more.

What contract rules have been applied to leases?

  • Repudiatory Breach

    • Hussein v Mahlman [1992]: L leased house to T, and for 15 months of three year lease, failed to keep covenant to repair leading to serious defects in house. T tried to terminate lease for repudiatory breach.

      • Seldey QC:

        • Serious breaches of certain duties interfere with central purpose of contract

          • Meaning that T ought to be able to accept repudiatory breach and end contract.

  • Misrepresentation and Mistake

    • Hammersmith and Fulham LBC v Monk [1992]: D was a co-habitee of flat with X granted by lease of HF. X left the flat and asked to be re-homed, agreeing with HF to terminate the lease w/o D’s consent. D refused to leave flat.

      • Lord Bridge:

        • No reason why question re: leases should receive any different answer in the context of the contractual relationship of landlord and tenant

          • than that which it would receive in any other contractual context.

        • To hold that A could not determine the contract at the end of any year without the concurrence of B would imply a potentially irrevocable contractual obligation

          • which would be such an improbable intention to impute to the parties

            • that nothing less than the clearest express contractual language would suffice to manifest it.

      • Lord Browne Wilkinson:

        • Law has flirted with the approach where joint tenants are separately considered insufficient and only together constitute the “owner” of the estate

          • However, law has adopted a contractual rather than property based reasoning subsequently.

    • Smith: although this approach has been met with reservation.

  • BUT Breach of covenants are treated as independent and therefore won’t amount to grounds for termination

    • Smith: this is a large contrast with normal contract rules

      • Liverpool CC v Irwin [1977]:

        • Thus, if L is in breach of his covenant to repair

        • This does not mean that T can stop paying the rent

          • And indeed, T not paying the rent is no defence to L not keeping up repairs.

      • Only exception seems to be where breach is so serious is amounts to being repudiatory per Hussein v Mahlman [1992](above).

Leases as contracts without property?

  • What does “exclusive possession” required for a lease arise from?

    • ...

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