Law of Property Act 1922

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1922 c. 16


Law of Property Act, 1922.

(12 & 13 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 16.

An Act to assimilate and amend the law of Real and Personal Estate, to abolish copyhold and other special tenures, to amend the law relating to commonable lands and of intestacy, and to amend the Wills Act, 1837, the Settled Land Acts, 1882 to 1890, the Conveyancing Acts, 1881 to 1911, the Trustee Act, 1893, and the Land Transfer Acts, 1875 and 1897.

[29th June 1922]

B E it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Assimilation and Amendment of the Law of Real and Personal Estate.

Part I.

Assimilation and Amendment of the Law of Real and Personal Estate.

Legal Estates, Equitable Interests and Powers.

Legal Estates, Equitable Interests and Powers.

S-1 ‘Legal estates’ and ‘equitable interests,’ and repeal of the Statute of Uses.

1 ‘Legal estates’ and ‘equitable interests,’ and repeal of the Statute of Uses.

(1) The only estates, interests or charges in or over land which, after the commencement of this Act, shall be capable of subsisting or of being conveyed or created at law shall consist of—

(a ) An estate in fee simple absolute in possession:

(b ) A term of years absolute:

(c ) An easement, right, or privilege in or over land for an interest equivalent to a like estate or term:

(d ) A like estate or term in mines and minerals, apart from the surface, or in the surface apart from the mines and minerals:

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

(f ) Land tax, tithe rentcharge, and any other similar charge on land which is not created by an instrument:

(g ) Rights of entry exerciseable over or in respect of a legal term of years absolute, or annexed, for any purpose, to a legal rentcharge.

And all other estates, interests, and charges in or over land (including fees determinable whether by limitation or condition) which at or after the commencement of this Act were, or but for this section would have been, legal estates, interests or charges, or capable of taking effect as such are hereby converted into or shall take effect as equitable interests.

(2) The estates, interests, and charges which under this section are authorised to subsist or to be conveyed or created at law are (when subsisting or conveyed or created at law) in this Act referred to as ‘legal estates,’ and the owner of a legal estate is referred to as ‘an estate owner’ and his legal estate is referred to his estate.

(3) A legal estate may subsist concurrently with or subject to any other legal estate in the same land in like manner as it could have done if this Act had not been passed.

(4) A legal estate shall not be capable of subsisting or of being created in an undivided share in land, and in this Part of this Act ‘land’ does not include an undivided share therein unless the context so requires.

(5) Every power of appointment over, or power to convey or charge land or any interest therein, whether created by a statute or other instrument or implied by law, and whether created before or after the commencement of this Act (not being a power vested in a legal mortgagee or chargee by way of legal mortgage or an estate owner in right of his estate and exerciseable by him or by another person in his name and on his behalf), shall after such commencement operate only in equity.

(6) Estates, interests, and charges in or over land which are not legal estates are in this Act referred to as ‘equitable interests,’ and powers which by this Act are to operate in equity only are in this Act referred to as ‘equitable powers.’

(7) The Statute of Uses and section sixty-two of the Conveyancing Act, 1881 , are hereby repealed and the provisions in any statute or other instrument requiring land to be conveyed to uses shall take effect as directions that the land shall (subject to creating or reserving thereout any legal estate authorised by this Act which may be required) be conveyed to the proper person of full age upon the requisite trusts.

(8) This section takes effect subject to the express savings and exceptions contained in this Part of this Act.

S-2 The getting in of bare outstanding legal estates.

2 The getting in of bare outstanding legal estates.

2. Legal estates outstanding at the commencement of this Act shall (in the circumstances mentioned in the first part of the First Schedule to this Act) vest in the person entitled to call for the same, or be extinguished or merged in accordance with the provisions of that schedule.

S-3 Purchaser of legal estate not concerned with certain equitable interests or powers; and provisions for the protection thereof.

3 Purchaser of legal estate not concerned with certain equitable interests or powers; and provisions for the protection thereof.

(1) After the commencement of this Act a purchaser of a legal estate in land shall not be concerned with or affected by any equitable interest or power affecting that land, whether he has notice thereof or not, save as provided by subsection (2) of this section.

(2) A conveyance of a legal estate (other than a conveyance made by a mortgagee or personal representative in exercise of his powers) shall not, in favour of a purchaser, over-reach an equitable interest or power of which the purchaser has notice, unless—

(i) Such equitable interest or power—

a ) is independently of subsection (3) of this section over-reached by trustees for sale, or by the exercise of the powers conferred by the Settled Land Acts (as amended), or the powers conferred by a settlement; or
b ) is bound by an order of the court; or
c ) is over-reached by virtue of subsection (3) of this section; and

(ii) If any capital money arises from the transaction, the same is paid into court, or the requirements of this Act respecting the payment of capital money arising under a trust for sale or a settlement, are complied with.

(3) Equitable interests and powers which are not capable of being over-reached independently of this subsection shall, notwithstanding any stipulation to the contrary, be capable of being over-reached in manner following:—

(i) Where the legal estate affected is at the time when any equitable interests or powers are created or arise subject to a trust for sale, the equitable interests and powers aforesaid may be over-reached by the trustees for sale, and shall, according to their priorities, take effect as if created or arising by means of a trust affecting the proceeds of sale and the income of the land until sale;

(ii) Where the legal estate affected is, at the time aforesaid subject to a settlement, the equitable interests and powers aforesaid may be overreached by the tenant for life of full age or statutory owner, and shall, according to their priorities, take effect as if limited or arising by or under that settlement;

(iii) Where the legal estate affected is not subject to a trust for sale or a settlement, then, if the estate owner conveys his estate to two or more individuals approved either by the persons in whom the equitable interests or powers aforesaid are vested or by the court, or to a trust corporation, upon trust for sale, with or without power to postpone the sale, such equitable interests and powers may be over-reached by the trustees for sale, and shall, according to their priorities, take effect as if created or arising by means of a primary trust affecting the proceeds of sale and the income of the land until sale.

(4) Equitable interests and powers capable of being over-reached by virtue of subsection (3) of this section are in this Act referred to as ‘protected by a trust for sale or a settlement.’

(5) Save as hereinafter provided, this section shall not apply to the following equitable interests and powers namely—

(i) The benefit of any covenant or agreement restrictive of the user of freehold land;

(ii) Any easement, liberty, or privilege over or affecting land and being merely an equitable interest;

(iii) The benefit of any contract to convey or create a legal estate (including a contract conferring a valid option of purchase, a right of pre-emption, or any other like right);

(iv) Any equitable interest protected by registration as a land charge or by an entry in any of the registers kept at the land registry or elsewhere under the Land Charges Registration and Searches Act, 1888 (as amended), and not being an interest the registration of which does not operate to prevent the same being over-reached by a conveyance to a purchaser of a legal estate in or created out of land subject to a trust for sale or a settlement;

(v) Any equitable interest protected by a deposit of documents relating to the legal estate affected:

Provided that a purchaser of a legal estate in land shall not be concerned with or affected by any equitable interest comprised in paragraphs (i) (ii) and (iii) of this subsection unless—

(a ) If created before the commencement of this Act, the purchaser has notice thereof; or,

(b ) If created after the commencement of this Act, it is protected by registration as a land charge.

(6) Where any equitable interest or power, to which this section applies, has priority to any legal estate which is paramount to the trust for sale or settlement, nothing contained in this section shall enable such interest or power to be over-reached to the prejudice of the person in whom the same is vested without his consent.

(7) Without prejudice to the protection afforded by this section to the purchaser of a legal estate, nothing contained in this section shall deprive a person entitled to an equitable charge of any of his rights or remedies for...

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