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Property Law Freehold Estates And Words Of Limitation Notes

BCL Law Notes > Property Law/ Land Law Notes

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Re Burke's Estate 1951
Re McKenna 1947


The terms and conditions under which you may operate your land or use it
Historically came from owing services/ tenures to your landlord
Feudal tenure has been abolished be the LCLRA 2009


The length of time or duration of the interest that a person possesses in land
Concept historical -

LCLRA:Estate in land is retained explicitly

Newlon Housin Trust v Alsulaimen
Lord Hoffman:Property rights are defined by physical boundaries and the duration.
4 dimensional

➢ The type of estate you have determines the rights you enjoy in relation to that land

• The greater the estate, the more expansive your rights


Estate > duration
Tenure > terms and conditions
At common law, the estate were either freehold, or leasehold.
Before the passing of the LCRLA, there were three different types.
Fee simple, fee tail, life estate.
Fee > derived from 'fief' which refers to a feudal land holding.
Each had different variations, and each were at common law or at equity.

THE STATUTE OF QUIA EMPTORESPrevents tenants alienating their land to other by subinfeudation, instead requiring them to do so by substitution. •

Passed during reign of Edward intended to remedy land ownership disputes and consequent financial difficulties that resulted from the decline of the feudal system
Subinfeudation was creating new tenures of land out by sub-letting or alienating sections of the land.

1. The fee simple

The best interest you can have as it lasted the longest.
Fee simple allows one to create interests are estates out of it
Successors could inherit it
OR could dispose of it in a will
Could create leaseholds out of the freehold.
Fee tails and life estates come next but are less prominent contemporarily
You own the fee simple, but you don't own the land.

E.G: Mary dies and does not make a will. It will then pass to her intestate successor, determinable by law > spouse usually. Say the spouse dies and their fee simple then passes on to the next successor. Let's say this is a nephew. When they die, it passes on again.

The fee simple passes forever

BUT can make a will where the property passes to her mother

Doesn't have to wait until she dies
Can sell it or subinfeudate it for profit > alienability

S.11 says:I.

the only legal estates in land that can be created and disposed of are the ones mentioned:

fee simple absoluteII.

no restrictions - not subject to anything if someone just conveys an interest to another without subjecting them to a contingency/ event/ restriction.

determinable fee simple

s.11 2.aa fee simple which will end automatically on the happening of a contingency


specified event which may or may not happen

it stops subject to the ending of an event, but there has to be a possibility of that event not happening it must be capable of lasting forever, in other words. •

III. So, say David is given an interest until Mary dies - not a determinable fee simple as dying is inevitable - instead this is a life estate.

fee simple subject to a right of entry or re entry

➢ Abolishes fee tails and life estates, however existing ones are still there
➢ Does not apply retrospectively 11(2)(b)
Fee simples are said to be absolute but there are sub-groups

Condition precedent: a condition which renders a fee simple transferable until it happens or is fulfilled

Condition subsequent: the estate vests immediately but can be divested off them if the

particular condition is not fulfilled
A condition which can allow the property to be taken back, they have It straight away but if they do not perform their duty/ condition, it will be taken back.

➢ To _ until they _.....
➢ There can be times where it can be either, based on the facts of the case, as the person could have already performed the conditions or it has already happenedThe courts will presume subsequent if either.

Re Porter: Lagan v Northern Bank and Others 1975There are no technical words to distinguish a condition precedent from a condition subsequent…

➢ There can be restrictions or conditions of a fee simple that render it void.

1. 2.

3. 4.

Public policy

➢ Attempts to restrict transfer, sale etc. of the property will be actionable due to the nature of the fee simple - it is a wide title.

Re Johnson, Morgan v McCaughey 1986

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