This article on ‘a Systematic Analysis of the Property Law in the UK & its Practical Implications’ is written by Subham Banerjee, a 3rd year student from Kingston Law College, and an intern at Legal Upanishad.
Properties are of utmost importance for the survival of human beings, but allocation and acquisition of property needs to be done in a proper systematic manner. Property law is something which is created to make this allocation of property in a systematic manner and safeguard those properties from others. Property law in the UK is divided under four heads which helps in its governance, they are:
I) English Land Laws,
II)English trusts law,
III)English Personal Property Law, and
IV)United Kingdom Intellectual Property Law.
English Land Laws:
The English Land Law is also considered to be the law of real property. The significance of land in England is high due to its historical and social backgrounds. It also increases the value of their lands. The property law in the UK have also been codified on the basis of these principles and they are governed by these codified law. The land laws are regulated in England based on the principles of common law and equity based on which several legislations have been created like Law of property Act, 1925, Trusts of Law and Appointment of Trustees Act, 1996, Land Registration Act, 2002, Land Charges Act, 1976, Settled Land Act, 1925 to name a few.
Law of property Act, 1925 –
The Law of Property Act, 1925, was introduced by the United Kingdom Parliament to modernize the real property laws. The Act mainly deals with transfer of land through deed. This Act forms the core of the English Land Law. The main aim of the Act was to reduce the type of legal estates into two, namely freehold which means holding a property which is disposable at the person’s own free will, and leasehold which means holding a property by lease, which in turn would make the transfer of land easier for purchasers.
Land Charges Act, 1976 –
This Act of the United Kingdom Parliament was formed England and Wales. Previously many lands were unregistered and thus they did not get proper protection under the common law, so this statute helped those who possessed unregistered lands. This Act repealed and updated parts of the Land Charges Act, 1925.
Trusts of Law and Appointment of Trustees Act, 1996 –
This law came into force on 1997 to deal with the problems of the provisions relating to trust that was provided in the Law of Property Act. It governs the trust laws in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Land Registration Act, 2002 –
This Act, along with the Land Registration Rules, was created by the Parliament of United Kingdom to deal with the registration of land. The previous laws relating to registration of land, including the Land Registration Act, 1925, were repealed. It reformed the process of registration of land to make it simple and convenient.
English Trust Laws:
Trust laws exist to protect properties which are held by one person for the benefit of another. In English legal system, Trust forms a very important part of it because the concept of trust was the creation of English law of property. There are currently many Acts of the Parliament of United Kingdom which regulated the law of trust efficiently. Some of them are Trustee Act, 1925, Trustee Investment Act, 1961, Recognition of Trusts Act, 1987, Pensions Act, 2004, and so on. Trust law forms an integral part of the English laws and affects all the English laws.
English Personal Property Law:
This section of law deals with properties of personal interests which are not land. Basically it means that personal property deals with the movable properties while the real property deals with immovable properties. This concept has been obtained from the Roman Law system. This personal property can be of three types, namely, by occupancy, by invention, like patent and copyright and by transfer.
Intellectual Property Law of United Kingdom:
Intellectual Property law has gained a lot of significance in the present times. United Kingdom has also a very extensive Intellectual Property Law. It has three types of law under this head, they are the copyright law, patent law and trademark law. United Kingdom is also a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Intellectual Property Office is the official body which regulates and safeguards the Intellectual Property Rights in United Kingdom.
The English legal system is one of the oldest legal systems in the world and its basis lies on the principles of common law and equity. The property law in the UK have also been codified on the basis of these principles and they are governed by these codified law. Evolution in these codified law has made it easy and convenient for use.
1- Harris Gordon, Maggs Andrew and Carter Alissa, 2021, The Intellectual Property Review: United Kingdom, thelawsreview.co.uk.
2- 2021, English Property Laws, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_land_law