UK Property Law

UK property law defines rights and obligations of parties in various property related contracts such as agricultural tenancy, general leases, business leases, easements and mortgages. In addition to these, the property laws in UK also define common hold properties, co-ownerships, estoppels, consent, human rights, trespassing, property related nuisance and different types of properties.

Formerly, laws relating to agricultural tenancy in the UK were framed under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986. In 1995, the Agricultural Tenancies Act was passed adding more laws to existing regulations. Regulatory Reforms again restructured these in 2006.

Disputes relating to properties are often relating to the boundaries and possession of the properties. The Land Registration Act of 2003 was passed to resolve related disputes. This act became applicable in October of 2003. It contained new provisions on “adverse possession”, registration of properties, and title.

Business leases in the UK are covered under the Landlord and Tenant Act, of 1954 (Part II), and the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) act of 1995. Relevant provisions have been modified in 2003. These Acts and reforms contain provisions relating to business leases, license, occupation, period of occupation, subletting of any residential property or properties by the business, lease terms, lease renewal, etc. The Landlord and Tenant Act, and The Landlord and Tenant (covenants) Act also contain provisions relating to general leases, discrimination, estoppels, distress, forfeiture, insolvency, indemnity, notices, nuisance, breach, disrepair, rent, unlawful eviction, termination of tenancy, service charges, subletting, sharing of occupation, sharing of possession, restraint on trade, and re-entry rights, in so far as they relate to lease of any property, including residential property.

These acts also contain provisions related to long leases. The Commonhold and leasehold Reform Act, of 2002 was followed by a reform act in 2003. As of now, Commonhold Regulations 2004 are applicable on commonhold properties in the UK. There are Commonhold (Land Registration) Rules as well. Issues arising out of co-ownership of properties, and relevant estoppels are governed by the Trusts of Land Act of 1996.

The Housing Act, 2004 contains several housing related provisions, such as provisions relating to condition of housing, licensing laws for multiple occupation, and selective licensing in case of residential houses. Property laws in UK related to mortgages are covered under the Consumer Credit Act, 1974 and 2006. These contain provisions relating to interest, forgery, money claims, mortgage indemnity, mortgage possession, sale and lease back contracts, undue influence, and unfair terms of mortgage.

Laws on nuisance, and trespassing cover various issues such as those arising due to noise, water, and damages. In general, these laws are framed to cover issues amongst neighbors.