Property Law,6th UK edition

By Roger Smith
January 2009
Distrubuted by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
ISBN: 9781405858663
668 pages
$99.50 Paper Original


'Property Law' provides students with a trustworthy and rigorous treatment of all areas of land and real property law.


Table of cases

Table of statutes

Table of statutory instruments

Part I


1  Basic property principles
  1. What is property?
  2. Ownership
  3. Some basic distinctions
  4. The new property
2  The central concerns of property law


  1. What interests bind purchasers?
  2. Creation and transfer
  3. The rights of the parties
  4. The effect on purchasers

3  Human rights

  1. The Convention rights
  2. Enforcement of Convention rights
  3. Convention rights in the courts

A.  Human rights in the exercise of proprietary rights

B.  Horizontal effect?

C.  The impact of human rights on property principles

4  Trusts and equitable interests


  1. Trusts
  2. The trust as a proprietary interest
  3. Other equitable interests
  4. Equities
  5. Equitable principles today
5  Property interests


  1. Land

A.  Tenures

B.  Freehold estates

C.  Leases

D.  Commonhold

E.  Other interests

  1. Chattels
  2. Relative or absolute ownership?
6  The role of legislation and registration for land interests


1.  The 1925 legislation

A.  Restricting legal estates and interests

B.  Overreaching

C.  Registration of land charges

D.  Assessing the 1925 legislation

2.  Land registration

3.  Other modern legislation

Part II

General principles: creation and transfer of property interests

7  Original acquisition of property interests


1.  Finding

A.  Things found on, in or under the land

B.  Things found in chattels

C.  Treasure

2.  Adverse possession

A.  Justifications for adverse possession

B.  Adverse possession against registered estates

C.  Requirements for adverse possession

D.  The effect of adverse possession

3.  Fixtures

A.  General principles

B.  Removable fixtures

C.  Is a right to remove fixtures a property interest?

8  The transfer and creation of property interests


1.  Deeds

2.  Contracts for sales and dispositions of interests in land

A.  Complying with the 1989 Act

B.  Enforcing contracts that do not comply with the 1989 Act

C.  Conclusions

D.  Electronic conveyancing

3.  Land

A.  Transfer

B.  Creation of interests

C.  Electronic conveyancing

4.  Chattels

A.  Transfer

B.  Creation of interests

5.  Choses in action

A.  Assignable rights

B.  Statutory assignments

C.  Claims by the debtor

D.  Equitable assignments

E.  Creation of interests

6.  Declarations of trust and equitable interests

A.  Declaration of trust

B. Transfer of equitable interests

7.  Wills

8.  Restrictions upon transfers

9  Formalities: rationale and trusts


1.  The role of formality requirements

2.  Resulting and constructive trusts

A.  Presumptions of resulting trusts and advancement

B.  Transfers for fraudulent purposes

C.  Constructive trusts: an oral promise by a transferee to hold on trust  for the transferor

D.  Constructive trusts: an oral promise by a transferee to recognise the rights of a third party

10 Formalities: estoppel


1.  The nature and use of estoppel

2.  When will an estoppel arise?

A.  The nature of the assumption or expectation

B.  Encouragement or acquiescence by the owner

C.  Detriment

D.  Reliance

3.  The effect of the estoppel

A.  Use as a sword

B.  The remedy

C.  Misconduct by the claimant

4.  The proprietary status of the estoppel

A.  The status of the estoppel before a remedy is given

B.  Can the claimant transfer the benefit of an estoppel?

5.  Other means of getting round the formality requirements

A.  Mutual benefit and burden

B.  Donor doing all in his power

C.  Rules relating to death

11 The family home


1.  Declaring the beneficial interests

2.  Transfer into joint names

3.  Transfer into a single name: early developments

A.  Alternative ideas in the 1960s

B.  Pettitt and Gissing

C.  The common intention constructive trust

4.  Post Gissing developments

A.  The new model constructive trust

B.  Forms of contribution

C.  Common intention after purchase; improvements

D.  Express common intentions

E.  Common intention without contribution or actual agreement?

F.  Assessing the shares: resulting and constructive trusts

G.  Accounting

5.  Looking to the future

6.  Constructive trusts and estoppel: the links

A.  Protection of the estoppel by constructive trust

B.  Similarities between constructive trusts and estoppel

C.  Court comparisons

D.  Is common intention the same as assumption or expectation?

E.  Detrimental reliance

F.  The form of the remedy

G.  The remedy and purchasers

H.  Tentative conclusions

12 Purchasers: general principles and the need for registration


1.  Rules for legal interests

2.  The development of equitable rules

3.  The doctrine of notice

A.  Bona fide

B.  Purchaser for value

C.  Legal estate

D.  Notice

E.  Other considerations

4.  Two competing equitable interests

5.  Priority rules for equities

6.  The time order

7.  Assessing the legal and equitable rules

8.  Registration as a solution

9.  The land charges scheme

13 Purchasers: registration of title

1.  The scheme and its objectives

2.  Types of interests

A.  Registrable interests: first registration

B.  Registrable dispositions

C.  Minor interests

D.  Overriding interests

3.  Alteration

A.  Grounds for alteration and rectification

B.  The proprietor in possession

C.  Deciding whether to order alteration

D.  The effect of rectification

E.  Assessment of alteration

4.  Indemnity

A.  Rights to indemnity

B.  Forgeries

C.  Overriding interests and indemnity

D.  Restrictions on indemnity

E.  Are rectification and indemnity complementary?

F.  The significance of indemnity

5.  Assessing land registration

6.  The operation of the rules of law and equity within the registration system

Part III

Rights to enjoy land: estates and commonhold

14 Successive and concurrent interests: introduction


1.  The recognised interests

2.  Legal regulation

15 Joint tenancy and tenancy in common


1.  Joint tenancy or tenancy or tenancy in common?

A.  The four unities

B.  Words of severance

C.  Equitable presumption of tenancy in common

2.  Severance of the joint tenancy

A.  The old forms of severance

B.  Section 36(2): notice in writing

C.  Public policy

D.  Conclusions

3.  Do we need both the joint tenancy and the tenancy in common?

16 Trusts of land


1.  When is there a trust of land?

A.  Successive interests

B.  Joint tenancy

C.  Tenancy in common

D.  Bare trusts and special cases

E.  Other cases?

2.  Occupation

A.  Background

B.  Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996

C.  Civil partnerships, spouses, cohabitants and associated persons

D.  Rent and other financial adjustments

3.  Management of the land

A.  Sale

B.  Partition and termination of trusteeship

C.  Delegation

4.  Protecting purchasers: overreaching

A.  The need for two trustees

B.  Reform

C.  Consent requirements

D.  Protection against irregularities

5.  Trusts for sale

17 Successive interests


1.  The rule against perpetuities

2.  The nineteenth-century need for reform of successive interests

3.  The strict settlement and the Settled Land Act 1925

4.  Trusts for sale

5.  Reform under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996

6.  Beneficiary control over management

18 Leases: types and requirements


1.  Requirements of leases

A.  Certainty requirements: rent, commencement and length

B.  Exclusive possession

2.  Types of tenancies

A.  Term of years absolute

B.  Periodic tenancies

C.  Tenancy at will

D.  Tenancy at sufferance

E.  Equitable leases

F.  Tenancies by estoppel

G.  Special cases

19 Leases: obligations and remedies


1.  The operation of contract principles

2.  Interference with the tenant’s holding and use of the land

3.  Repairing obligations

A.  Obligations on tenants

B.  Obligations on landlords

C.  Enforcing repairing obligations

D.  Liability for personal injuries

E.  Reform

  1. Forfeiture

A.  The operation of forfeiture

B.  Protection for residential tenants

C.  Waiver

D.  Relief: non-payment of rent

E.  Relief: non-rent breaches

F.  Reform

  1. Distress and commercial rent arrears recovery
20 Leases: parties and the running of covenants


1.  Assignment and subletting

A.  The power to assign and sublease

B.  Assignment or sublease?

C.  Common restrictions

D.  Concurrent leases

2.  Enforcing covenants after assignment

A.  Privity of estate: general rules

B.  Which covenants run?

C.  Breaches before assignment

D.  Breaches after assignment

E.  Equitable leases and equitable assignments

3.  Subleases

21 Commonhold

1.  Nature and origins

2.  Principal commonhold rules

A.  Becoming commonhold land

B.  Commonhold association and commonhold community statement

C.  Common parts

D.  Units

3.  How successful is commonhold?

A.  The use of commonhold so far

B. &  Overview

Part IV

Other interests in land

22 Licences


1.  Forms of licences

A.  Bare licences

B.  Licences coupled with an interest

C.  Contractual licences

D.  Constructive trusts

E.  Estoppel licences

F.  Other analyses

2.  Creation and transfer of licences

3.  The relationship constituted by the licence

A.  Trespass and nuisance

B.  Comparisons with leases

23 Easements and profits

1.  Introduction

A.  Restrictive covenants

B.  Natural rights

C.  Public rights

D.  Rights of fluctuating bodies

2.  What can be an easement or profit?

A.  Profits

B.  Easements

3.  The creation and transfer of easements and profits

A.  Implied easements

B.  Prescription

  1. The relationship constituted by easements and profits

A.  Extent of the right

B.  User must be limited to dominant tenement

C.  Repair

D.  Conduct by the servient owner

  1. Termination of easements and profits

A.  Common ownership

B.  Abandonment

24 Covenants


1.  Positive covenants

A.  Running of the burden

B.  The benefit of positive covenants

2.  Restrictive covenants

A.  The limitation to restrictive covenants

B.  Dominant tenement

C.  The running of the benefit

D.  Modification

3.  Enforcement of covenants

4.  Reform

25 Mortgages


1.  Forms of mortgages

2.  Creation of mortgages

3.  Vitiating factors

A.  Undue influence

B.  Is the lender put on inquiry?

C.  Consequences of being put on inquiry

D.  The solicitor’s certificate

E.  Other factors

4.  The relationship constituted by the mortgage

A.  Rules protecting the mortgagor

B.  Rights and remedies of the mortgagee

Index top


  • References to academic material are found throughout making this an ideal text to introduce students to wider sources and debate.
  • The text itself goes well beyond a description of the rules and principles encouraging students to reflect on court decisions and future developments in a considered, informed and mature fashion.


"Rogers Smith’s Property Law is a book renowned for its clear and penetrating approach to property law. The sixth edition introduces a number of new chapters including Human Rights and the Family Home, which ensure that it retains its position as the premier introductory book. It is highly readable and, importantly, is a joy to read. I highly recommend it". James GH Griffin, Lecturer, Exeter University


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