|Long title||An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to Conveyancing and the Law of Property in England and Wales.|
|Citation||15 Geo 5 c 20|
|Introduced by||Lord Birkenhead|
|Territorial extent||England and Wales|
|Royal assent||9 April 1925|
|Commencement||1 January 1926|
|Amended by||Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996;|
Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989;
Land Registration Act 2002
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|Revised text of statute as amended|
The Law of Property Act 1925 (c 20) is a statute of the United Kingdom Parliament. It forms part of an interrelated programme of legislation introduced by Lord Chancellor Lord Birkenhead between 1922 and 1925. The programme was intended to modernise the English law of real property. The Act deals principally with the transfer of freehold or leasehold land by deed.
The LPA 1925, as amended, provides the core of English land law, particularly as regards many aspects of freehold land which is itself an important consideration in all other types of interest in land.
The keynote policy of the act was to reduce the number of legal estates to two – freehold and leasehold – and generally to make the transfer of interests in land easier for purchasers. Other policies were to regulate mortgages and as to leases, to regulate mainly their assignment, and to tackle some of the lacunae, ambiguities and shortcomings in the law of property. Innovations included the default creation of easements under section 62 to reduce unintended denial of access, and statutory enlargement under section 153 (applications to convert very long leasehold to freeholds, where no rent has been paid or demanded for a long period of time).
The Act followed a series of land law and policy reforms that had been begun by the Liberal government starting in 1906. This is how one American legal scholar, Morris Raphael Cohen, described it:
That which was hidden from Maitland, Joshua Williams, and the other great ones, was revealed to a Welsh solicitor who in the budget of 1910 proposed to tax the land so as to force it on the market. The radically revolutionary character of this proposal was at once recognized in England. It was bitterly fought by all those who treasured what had remained of the old English aristocratic rule. When this budget finally passed, the basis of the old real property law and the effective power of the House of Lords was gone.[a] The legislation of 1925–26 was thus a final completion in the realm of private law of the revolution that was fought in 1910 in the forum of public law, i.e., in the field of taxation and the power of the House of Lords.
Section 1 sets out the basic structure of the newly reformed legal estates—"an estate in fee simple absolute in possession" (commonly referred to as freehold), and "a term of years absolute" (leasehold). Old estates in land—fee tail and life interests—are converted by s.1 so as to "take effect as equitable interests". Section 3 sets out how these equitable interests have effect.
Section 70 of the 1925 Act should be considered in conjunction with schedules 1 and 3 when considering interests that override, most notably that to be in receipts of rents and profits is no longer an overriding interest.
Section 84 of the Act sets out the powers of an appointed authority to alter or remove restrictive covenants on property deeds. This power was later transferred to the Lands Tribunal by the Law of Property Act 1969, and subsequently to the Upper Tribunal by the Transfer of Tribunal Functions (Lands Tribunal and Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2009.
Section 136 provides for written notice of an assignment of a debt or "thing in action" to a third party.
These sections govern fraud; s.172 was repealed (subject to non-application to then-pending bankruptcies) by the Insolvency Act 1985.
Changes have taken place since the commencement of the Land Registration Act 2002.